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INTERVIEW: It soon comes around

Gav Skelton on the next three weeks

11 July 2022

It’s another full week for the lads as focus starts to shift towards the more technical aspects of the game in their sessions, whilst still making sure that fitness targets and levels are being met along the way.

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The foundation for that approach has been set with the Penrith and Kendal outings bringing 45 minutes each for the available players, and a split of 60 for the starters and 30 for the remainder at Workington on Saturday.

“When you start in a game like Saturday you’re looking to get more minutes under your belt, and that’s why we did it that way, rather than sticking with the 45/45 we’d done previously,” assistant manager Gav Skelton explained.

“The first game is three weeks away, and that’s a long time, but it soon comes around. With four friendlies to go it’s important that players get towards 90 minutes before the end of July.

“We’ve got targets and distances we want them to hit, which we’re doing, and there are sprint distances we want them to meet.

“They’re doing that, and we can now focus on ball work and what we want them to do game and shape wise. There’ll be more of an emphasis on that as we also maintain our fitness work.”

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“We’ve done a tough two and a half weeks, with sports science you get obsessed by how many kilometres you need each week and how many metres you need.

“That’ll be maintained in terms of fitness work. But we start focusing more on the football and tactical sides.

“These next four games will be really challenging games. No disrespect to the teams we’ve played, but it will be a bit of a ramp up in intensity and it will test us and give us more questions than answers.”

“With the behind closed doors game on Tuesday it will pretty similar to today,” he continued. “Some players will get more minutes, and we’ll start increasing the workload on them. 

“Then on Saturday it’s Bolton, and they’re a good League One team. There’ll be good expectation with them to go even further, it will be a really tough challenge for us.

“We played them a couple of years ago in the league and a game like that wouldn’t be bad. I think the manager has an idea in his head where he wants to go, which helps prepare for these games, you’re not chopping and changing in training.

“Players get used to what’s expected of them and things just aren’t thrown on them. When you come back for pre-season you always have an idea about the team, but it can completely change due to injury or form.

“You have an idea, and see certain combinations, but a lot will happen in three weeks I’m sure.” 

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