The gaffer discusses plans for blank weekendAs usual, a hectic start to the season has been routinely handing the squad two fixtures a week… except for when the international period brings domestic affairs to a sudden halt, as it has for the forthcoming weekend.
Several player have reported for international duty with their nations at senior and youth players, meaning that manager Jaap Stam doesn’t have a full complement of players to work with on the training ground.
But for those that are left behind at Hogwood, there will be opportunities to get stuck into some training – as well as refreshing themselves with a little bit of down-time.
“As I said last time that we had an international break, it would have been nice to have the whole squad together to work with them for a couple of weeks to prepare for the next game – but that’s not the case,” explained the manager.
“So we’ll try to improve the players that are here with us within smaller groups on tactical parts of the games and how we want to play.
“Next weekend they have got a couple of days off – it’s very important that players do take some days off.
“They work very hard day-in, day-out – if you overstretch them, players will get injured and tired or not be able to perform how you expect. So it’s important to have a couple of days off as well.”
Jaap also hopes that those players who are away with their countries will return in good health – and also hopes that the others who are getting over knocks and niggles will be closer to contention when the Championship fixtures restart away at QPR.
Tyler Blackett featured against Portsmouth on Tuesday evening in the EFL Trophy after serving his three-match suspension, while the likes of Liam Kelly, Danzell Gravenberch and Dominic Samuel – each of which have had injuries so far this season – also got game-time.
Stam continued: “Everybody is coming back to fitness and hopefully everyone will be fit when they come back from their international games. That will give us a bit of choice.
“It is also good for the players – they need to push each other as well, in the sense that they need to work very hard and do well in games.”