Gillingham boss Martin Allen revealed the inspiration from his side's crushing 4-0 victory over Aldershot came from his illness-fighting dog Monty.
Allen based his team talk around Monty having a tumour removed and it had the desired effect as goals from Allen's son Charlie, Danny Kedwell, Myles Weston and Chris Whelpdale helped the Gills move six points clear at the top of npower League Two.
And Allen admitted he was just pleased to get through the match, revealing a stomach bug swept through the club.
"I'm absolutely delighted," said Allen. "There was a great attitude from the players. We played some fantastic football, we took our chances.
"We played with two people suffering from a stomach bug, I've virtually been off for two days with it, and so have three or four others in the club. There was no way I was going to miss this, but it was a relief to get through.
"I don't tell the players to do anything. I never have and I never will. I ask them questions and they come up with the answers.
"They do it all. The team talk was about Monty, my dog, who has just had a tumour removed. That was what we spoke about before the game. How mad is that?
"It's worked very well. The players are a very intelligent group of people. You can see their passion and commitment."
Shots boss Dean Holdsworth cut a very different figure after seeing his side outclassed with top-scorer Craig Reid the only one to trouble Stuart Nelson, who produced a smart save to deny his powerful effort.
Holdsworth said: "We came up against a very good side. They're at the top of their confidence, you can see that, and we need to find that."