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MANAGER: It was important to get the balance right

Keith Millen on the preparations for Exeter

18 November 2021

With one of the longest trips of the season facing the Blues at the weekend it perhaps stands to reason that the week leading up to the game would very much strike a balance between rest and the work needed to be done to prepare for what will be a tough game.

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“It was something we spoke about as staff last week, with the fitness coach as well, but it’s really important to get the balance right,” manager Keith Millen explained.

“I felt it was really important to give them Sunday and Monday off, a little bit of a reward for the hard work they’d put in, but they had to do some recovery work at home.

“Then Tuesday and Wednesday they’ve had probably the two hardest days they’ve had physically. We gave them a bit of rest, but also needed to get some good work into them.

“Those fitness levels are in the bank, so now it’s a case of getting their legs back and getting information into them without doing too much running.”

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And on how the journey will be managed, he commented: “The travel is something I’m learning more about as the weeks go by.

“We’ve got to try and prepare as well as we can, but there are loads of things to consider. We’ll travel on Friday morning and train at Birmingham around lunchtime, then make the rest of the journey down.

“Fingers crossed there’s no traffic, I know that’s a big ask on a Friday, but we’re trying to split the journey up by training half-way.

“Birmingham have allowed us to use their training ground which is great. It’s just off the motorway, so that’s an easy one to get to hopefully, to split the journey up.

“We try to not add too many more miles to the journey – we certainly don’t want to be adding another 30 minutes going to a training ground.

“We’ve just got to do whatever we can to prepare the lads. We’ll be fine. It’s no excuse, the lads are used to it, we’ll be in a hotel overnight, we’ve got all Saturday morning to go for a walk, I’ve got no concerns over the travelling.”

“After the game we’ll get back as soon as we can,” he added. “They’ll be off on Sunday, but they’ll be given a programme to do, which we can monitor.

“So far, they’ve been really good in doing that work when they aren’t in training. I know I can trust them to go home and have their day with their family, but also do recovery work.

“They’ve been good with that but they know if they let themselves down I’ll get them in on a Sunday.”


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