Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on the pre-season trip to Tenerife in his latest Dale Player interview…
“The players have enjoyed it and they’ve endured it at times as well. Football isn’t always about pleasure or feeling good – it’s about adversity, dealing with it and dealing with an opposition. We’ve been working on all those aspects and it’s exactly what we want the players to be.
“We’ve not flogged them and we haven’t got any fatigue injuries, which is absolutely superb. We’ve pushed the players as hard as we possibly can both mentally and physically, but we’ve used our own intelligence and our emotions and I believe that we’ve come out on top. I believe that will carry us into the next phase of pre-season.”
He continued: “We’ve changed our training programme slightly this year but we kept the essentials. We’re not lazy as a football club or a coaching staff and we want to keep on improving. We want better results so we’ve had to change one or two things and I think we’ve seen a great response from the players.
“We wanted to reinvigorate the players so the changes were about coming up with something that would stimulate them. They were also about people not getting too used to me, or too used to the training programme. I think that previous training programmes, both during pre-season and the season, have been well thought out and very good, but I think you can get a little bit lazy when you know what’s coming.
“It’s not rocket science, it’s about preparing these players to play 90 minutes of football so we have to go through different scenarios with respect to what we want the players to achieve and how we want to play the game as well. It’s important that we prepare the players for that in our training programme and that’s where we have to be planning. We can’t just expect the players to go out there on a Saturday and to play a 90 minute game without any preparation, so that’s what we’re doing. We’re preparing the players mentally and physically for the season, but also for the way that we want to play with and without possession. The players have responded superbly.”
The full interview is available to view on Dale Player.