McDermott, Bibbo, Feds and AkpanDuring the warm weather training trip to Dubai, the Royals were questioned by international media about a variety of issues - and here's what they said.
Brian McDermott, speaking to Sky News Arabia:
The weather has been 100 times better than England – it’s been difficult to get on our training pitches at home so this has been fantastic. To be able to train in 27 degrees has been fantastic, there are lots of Barclays Premier League clubs out here and it’s been very good for us.
Our next game is Manchester United, we are preparing for that in everything we do. I’m optimistic going into every game, it’s Man Utd at Old Trafford and an opportunity for us to play and do the best we possibly can, put on a performance and then we’ll see where that leaves us.
We’ve taken 14 points from 8 games so our form is good. I thought we were unfortunate at Stoke, we could have had a pen but we leave that now. There’s lots of points to play for. I don’t think about relegation, in the same way as last season we didn’t think about winning the league. We look at every game, that won’t change. There’ll be twists and turns.
Goalkeeping coach Sal Bibbo said to Premier League TV:
It’s been a very nice change. We didn’t come away for bonding, the boys are very close and we pride ourselves on a great team spirit. There unity within the squad and staff so there’s no change, of course we’d like to be higher in the division but the boys are giving us everything with their effort and commitment.
Hope Akpan spoke to Sky Arabia:
The weather will really help when we go back to England. It’s been good to get away, the training has been harder physically than at home so when we go back to the UK we take the benefit.
Adam Federici chatting with UAE Pro League:
I’ve been here many times, it’s a stunning place and the training has been fantastic. I’ve been here training with Australia before in a different part of Dubai, Jabel Ali, I’ve loved it. There’s not much sun in England right now so it’s great to get some Vitamin D and have a refresher. It’s not always easy training in the wet so it’s nice to do some full training without going in soaking wet. The facilities are very good, a close friend of mine [Lucas Neill] used to play there and spoke very highly of them so I knew how good it would be.