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CHANGING DAYS

Chris Hughton talks about the goals of the first week of pre-season training and how times have changed since his days as a professional.

Chris Hughton talks about the goals of the first week of pre-season training and how times have changed since his days as a professional.Our first team, development and Academy squads all kicked-off their preparations for the new campaign on Monday and were back on ball work on Tuesday with the first pre-season friendly arriving at Stevenage Borough this Saturday, July 7 (3pm). The ball work continued on Wednesday morning.

As assistant boss Chris explained, it was different in his day. “The first week is all about monitoring where the players are after their summer break, re-introducing them to the fooball and assessing fitness levels,” he said.

“Pre-season is done in a different way now. In the past, it was about building up stamina levels after being away from the game for quite a long period in the summer.

“Now, the lads return in good shape and it’s a different type of training. They are back on the ball a lot earlier than we used to be - we would have had at least a week’s fitness before that.

“They obviously do fitness work though, shorter distance runs and it’s about getting the heart-rate up and down and recovery times, rather than the longer four or five-mile cross-country runs that we were used to.

“All the lads were given fitness programmes to do in the summer and to be fair, players come back fitter then perhaps we did in the past!”