TOWN'S build-up to Saturday's big Hull City derby duel will be short - but sharp.
Mindful of the need to balance work, rest and play during a hectic festive schedule of four League I games in eight days, manager Peter Jackson gave his squad yesterday off.
But they were back in training this morning working on tactics for the tough-looking trip to the KC Stadium, where Peter Taylor's second-placed side will seek an eighth straight win and seventh in the League.
Hull stayed hot on the heels of leaders Luton with last night's 2-1 home win over Doncaster Rovers.
The match, settled by Stuart Elliott's 23rd goal of the season with just four minutes to go, was watched by 24,117, a figure likely to be bettered on Saturday, when Town will be backed by more than 2,000 supporters.
While the Tigers were triumphant yet again, boss Peter Taylor was unhappy with their performance and disappointed at the dismissal of his former England midfield ace Nick Barmby, who will now be suspended for the Town meeting.
Even so, Hull will still provide a formidable challenge, although Jackson, buoyed by a 4-0 home win over Taylor's side in September, is relishing the challenge.
"It's the kind of match you get involved in football for," he said.
"There's always a great atmosphere when we meet, and having beaten Port Vale 2-1 on Boxing Day and battled for that 2-2 draw down at Bournemouth on Tuesday, we will go into the game in a very positive frame of mind."
Jackson's side are also in action on Monday, when Bristol City visit the Galpharm (3.00).
"It's always a difficult balancing act at this time of year," he said.
"The lads played on Sunday, had a six-hour trip down to Bournemouth on Monday, then the same again back home after the game on Tuesday.
"That can be pretty tiring, so they had yesterday off to recharge the batteries before coming back in today to start working towards Hull."
Jackson was making precautionary checks on David Mirfin (thigh strain) and John McAliskey (bruised jaw), but expects both to be fit.
Saturday's game is all-ticket for Town fans, who have until noon tomorrow to buy from the Galpharm.