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Interviews

Halabi | "They're putting the work in"

Assistant Manager on his blank canvas at a club he knows well...

20 July 2018

Assistant Manager Karl Halabi has been paying extra special attention to the numbers in pre-season as he and his team prepare the squad physically for the challenge of the Championship that begins in two weeks' time!

"My focus and strength lies with the physical side of things and the boys have worked really hard physically during our stay out in Austria.

"The weather has been good, not too hot! And while the first two weeks of pre-season were volume-based, this week we’ve had three games in a week, so training has been a little bit different.

"There are a few tired bodies, but we expect that. We’re pushing through as a group...it’s pre-season and they’ve got to get through it.

"And we prepare them right, recover right, they eat the right foods, we take care of them as best we can.

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"The boys have really bought into what we’re doing and the preparation work has been really good. And they’re putting the work in which is good. So we’re really happy."

Halabi returned to the coaching staff alongside Nigel Gibbs to begin a second spell in RG2 as part of Paul Clement's team; Karl's connection with the club began as a 10-year-old player at Reading before he came back to his hometown club to take a Head of Sports Science role under Brendan Rodgers and then win promotion to the Premier League as part of Brian McDermott’s coaching team at Reading.

"The staff are different from my time here before, the players are different of course. The club is different. So it’s a blank canvas for me personally.

"But the players are really excited to be here and working with us, so it’s a good place to be.

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"Weeks like this are always a good bonding period for the group too – we see the players for a full week, we are with them all the time on the training pitches, in the hotel during down periods. So it’s really good."

And this afternoon, the Austrian tour ends with a friendly against Rubin Kazan - Karl's priorities don't lie with the result or the performance at this stage though.

"Physically, I’d like them to come through the game with no injuries. Get through the game and get big numbers in for the metrics we look after.

"We train again on Saturday morning and that should end a week which will hopefully prove a solid base for the team as the season kicks in in a fortnight’s time."


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