Keith Curle on a structured pre-season package
United boss Keith Curle spoke more today about the structure of the second phase of the pre-season training package as the squad looks ahead to the Barrow friendly on Saturday.
“As I’ve said before, everything has been planned meticulously,” he told us. “I sit with all of my staff and we have a good understanding of where the players are.
“The plan is to integrate the new lads into the squad as we take them all through a staged physical and mental progression. When it comes down to it we need them to be fit for the whole season and not just for the first game of it.”
“The pleasing thing is that this group knows when to have a laugh and a joke, but they also know when it’s time to be serious,” he commented. “Part of what we did at Mottram Hall was a group meeting where I asked them, individually and collectively, to think about what they want out of this season and what they want from the environment they’re working in.
“They all agreed that a big thing they wanted was a professional working environment from the moment they turned up first thing in the morning. Yes, there is room for banter in the changing room, and places like that, but as soon as the boots are on it’s time to switch on.
“We have good characters here. There’s a strong mentality with players who have good ability. They all understand that we’re demanding improvement from them all every single day. It takes hard work, good concentration levels and attention to detail to achieve that.”
And with the focus of training having switched to ball and shape work, he said: “It becomes important that we see that they’re able to take on board the technical information we’re giving them. Ability wise we don’t have a problem – they’re here because we feel they have that – but we now need to see some of things we want to implement in our style become second nature to them. I’ve got to say, we’re getting that and they’re a pleasure to work with.
“The next stage of their progression, along with the training ground work, is the three games we have coming up against Barrow, Bury and Bradford. They will give me a clearer picture of exactly which team I want to play for the first game of the season.”
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