Pools boss Craig Hignett brings us a further update as the squad continue their pre-season training camp in Tenerife.
Wednesday 13th July 2016, 3pm
Hello and welcome back to Tenerife for my latest diary entry from our training base here.
This morning we went back across to the training ground and we played out a full ninety-minute practice match, which went really well and we achieved everything we wanted to really. The lads all got 45 minutes at Billingham at the weekend so we wanted to get 90 in to them today and they did well.
We split the game in to thirds because that allowed us to have a drinks break every half hour. Obviously it’s really hot out here so it’s very important that the players keep hydrated so having the three periods gave us the chance to do that.
We had the chance to look at a few different things that we wanted to and little things that can change the way we play. I know some people might think it’s quite early to be focusing a lot on shape of the team but we really want all the players to have a full understanding of what we’re trying to do.
We’ve now worked on team shape with and without the ball so when the next round of friendlies kick-in the lads should know their roles really well and they can hopefully take that in to the start of the season.
In terms of the result this morning, we had an orange team and a yellow team – and the oranges ran out 3-0 winners in the end. They played really well and took their chances but I have to say I felt a little sorry for the yellows because they also had some good opportunities but didn’t put them in the net. There was one chance that was like pinball in the box and I think it hit the bar and the post as well as bringing a good save out of Trevor Carson. I know the oranges were ecstatic with their win because the lads all put twenty Euros on it – so that added a competitive edge!
This afternoon we’ve given them some leisure and relaxation time. We have had tough sessions on the pitch and in the gym already this week which have been hard on the lads so we don’t want to overdo it. We’ll have a light session again in the morning and maybe play some head tennis before cracking on with a big of work on set-pieces to get some of those lodged in their minds for the season.
It’s Billy Paynter’s birthday today so I think the lads are all going out for a meal this evening for that, which is great. As I said before, a big part of being over here is to create that bond in the squad and I can see it happening with every day that goes by. Billy himself plays a big role in that because he’s the captain and every bit of info goes through him – he tells them what to do and when to do it and he’s a great character to have in the squad.
That’s all for today. I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with a little bit more inside info from Tenerife!