Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton said the team have been able to recharge ahead of the Boxing Day clash against Birmingham City.
After a gruelling schedule, the build-up to Christmas sees The Reds without a midweek fixture and Hughton has used that as an opportunity to refresh the players and prepare for the match at The City Ground.
He said: “This is a week we have been looking forward to, it is pre-Christmas and we will train on Christmas Day like most teams but to have that free week, to be able to work with the players and get as many messages over as we can, and for the players to have that slight down time to approach the week a bit differently is something we have been looking forward to.
“The players had a couple of days off, we have worked and we will work all the way through to the Birmingham game. It is a good change for us.”
As Hughton prepares to face his former club, he believes that there is very little difference in the quality of the teams at the top and bottom ends of the table.
“I don’t think the difference is so massive,” he said. “Do I think the top teams have the best players? Yes, I do. Teams like Watford have had an indifferent period over the last few games but if you look at the three teams that came down, they have kept the large majority of their players.
“But do I think the gulf in the performance can be that big? No as anybody can beat anybody. Those top teams have that consistency, and it is about both ends. The top teams can score goals, as we have seen, but they also have very good ways of defending, whether that is keeping possession or the quality of defenders that they have got.”