Can there ever be a point in such a long season where you hit peak fitness as a squad?
Jesus: “No, sports teams can never plan like that. If you play 50 matches, the first is as important as the last. As a collective, we want to reach the best peak of form and then sustain it. Of course, sometimes players have better form but the real challenge is to avoid any drop off. If you play 11 players, each player will have a different level of form. And form isn’t just physical, it’s psychological, tactical, confidence. There are different aspects. I know that people associate form with fitness but sometimes if you did a physical test with a player in great form it would surprise you but he’s confident, he’s playing well. People will say ‘he’s in great form’ but he’s in great football form. Form means different things.”
Below: Kyle Walker-Peters and Cameron Carter-Vickers get down to the hard work in week one
How do you keep a squad of players fit for 10 months of a Premier League campaign?
Jesus: “There are so many circumstances. The most important thing is to think player by player and try to get the best from them. And always try to look at the positives. Football is a contact sport, sometimes you can have plenty of injuries but the squad will cope with this situation. We always look at the positives. We don’t cry if we have important players injured, this is why it’s important to treat each player professionally, especially when they don’t play so much, because at some point you will need them and they will have to be in the best condition.”