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Interviews

"The players are in decent shape" - Clement

Manager looks ahead to getting the squad ready for the upcoming season

25 June 2018

"I’m very happy with the organisation we’ve got in place for pre-season, I think it’ll put us in good shape for the first game against Derby.”

Interviews

"It's always nice to be back!"

25 June 2018

Paul Clement is looking ahead to how pre-season will shape up, with the players starting an intense training schedule to prepare for the rigours of the Championship campaign.

The squad reported for testing on Monday morning, followed by a training session in the afternoon as they start to build up towards the new season.

With a packed schedule ahead, manager Clement was on hand to provide an update of the squad's condition as they returned from their summer breaks.

On how he spent his time off, he said: “I spent the first couple of weeks reflecting on what had happened last season, getting some early signings through the door in Yiadom, Meyler and O’Shea – which was very pleasing.

“Then I, like most people do in football, took some time off and had a little bit of holiday.”

With the players returning, Clement said it was a good time to check on the squad's fitness and plan ahead for a number of training sessions this week and beyond.

Interviews

"It's always nice to be back!"

25 June 2018

“We used this morning to go through a number of different tests, in general I think the players look in decent shape," he added.

“They had programmes to do over the summer – a couple of weeks of complete rest then a couple of maintenance programmes, so they could come back in decent shape.

“I think the times have gone now where you flog the players in the first couple of weeks when they gain weight and get out of shape.

"I think the professionals now are very much 12 months a year with keeping themselves in good shape, so we’re good to go and we’re out on the pitch on Monday afternoon.

“Every season in this pre-season period, you’re trying to get the players physically fit, which is important.

“But also – very importantly for me having come in for the last eight games of last season, where it’s very difficult to build a style of play, it was more about getting those results. Now we really need to do that, spend the time with the players tactically and having a very clear identity – a clear way of playing."

Despite the fact there will be less pressure on the Royals as they take part in their pre-season schedule of matches, Clement insists they will not be taking any of their warm-up games lightly.

“We’ll obviously take all the friendlies very seriously and, as professionals, you want to win all the games.

"We’ve got a game against Eastleigh on Saturday so we’re obviously straight into action.

“After that, we’ve got five other good games. I know a couple haven’t been announced yet but that’s going to happen very soon."

You can see the Royals in action for the first time in pre-season at the Silverlake Stadium, where Eastleigh will be the opponents on Saturday (12.30pm kick-off).


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