By George Williamson
Their scheduled fixture against Gateshead had to be postponed last weekend due to a snowstorm that swept the nation, and in separate interviews during the week off, both Davies and Mellon talked about the significance of utilising the interruption to their advantage.
Speaking to the media on March 1st, Mellon said: “It’s good to have a bit of variation, especially at this time of the season when you’ve done so much football.
“It’s been good to take the focus a little bit away from that when you have the opportunity to do it.
“To do something different, have a bit of a laugh, but with the serious side of getting hard work done.”
— Tranmere Rovers (@TranmereRovers) March 8, 2018
“I think the reasons for (having a winter break) would be right to give the players a mental rest, not just the physical side, to recharge everybody.”
Mellon echoed that sentiment a week later, previewing the Dagenham & Redbridge game as his side finally returned to league action.
He said: “It’s important at this time of year because it is so day-to-day and full-on that when you do get the opportunity it doesn’t do them any harm to give our minds a little rest.
“We’ve been able to do that a little bit, keeping them physically moving obviously but just try to lighten the mood a little bit, have a laugh and do something a bit different in training.
“We took them boxing and spinning, just changing the environment a little bit and re-charging them.”
It’s clear the emphasis during the hiatus for Mellon has been to re-charge the players and get their minds and bodies fully rested ahead of the run-in, but it’s also evident just how much the players have bought into that mentality, as Davies told reporters on Thursday how the break has raised spirits in the dressing room.
He said: “People have spoken about the winter break and I think sometimes it’s not so much physically but mentally it’s nice to get away for a bit for a couple of days.
“You see the same faces every day so it was nice to have a little weekend and get back to work on Monday.
“(The gaffer has) been there, seen it and done it and I’ve been in teams myself that have been there and done it so it’s all about that, you’ve got to keep the spirit.
“I think if you look at the last game we played, even though we didn’t play well I think spirit got us through and got us a result so I think that has to continue if we have any aspirations of doing what we want to do.”
As Davies alluded to, both Mellon and Davies have copious amounts of experience at this level, and it’s evident that they’re both on the same page regarding not only the positives of the winter break, but also the final ten games and the mentality they need to have to earn promotion back into the Football League.