FRIDAY, JULY 24
This has been the toughest week in terms of volume of work and intensity and the players are doing brilliantly.
We had our final behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford on Wednesday. We’ve played three teams here now - Southend, Reading and Brentford - all good teams with a good philosophy of football.
We used these games as specific training sessions. We played at the Training Centre with nothing else around us, in our environment with our support staff and our facilities. That means we don’t lose any time in terms of travel and recovery. It’s perfect for us.
To underline what I mean about treating the games as specific training sessions, after the match against Brentford on Wednesday (highlights below), we had a double session on Thursday, and more hard work for the players! So Wednesday wasn’t seen as a ‘normal’ game as such, more like a training session.
In our cycle of a week in pre-season we alternate single and double sessions. This is how we like to work. We change the subject of the training and we’re very careful with loads for the players. We have two single sessions to end this week, today and tomorrow (Saturday).
We’re now at the end of the first phase of preparation and ready to compete against good teams in pre-season matches. We can’t wait to travel out to America to play an exciting game against the MLS All Stars in Denver, then it’s onto the Audi Cup.