Date: 1st July 2014 at 4:27pm
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Manager Ian Holloway had made no secret of the fact that any senior member of the team not up to scratch fitness wise, wouldn’t be travelling to Portugal on our summer training camp and eyebrows were raised when we knew that David Forde, Danny Shittu, Paul Robinson and Carlos Edwards had all been left behind.

Speaking to the official site though, Holloway has indicated that fans shouldn’t read too much into that, and nor should anybody instantly think the worst, because by leaving them behind to train and get up to speed on their own, it’s presented him with an opportunity to cast a real close eye over some of our talent youngsters.

‘David, Danny, Paul and Carlos are not out here with us. I know all about them, they are our four most senior players, and what I want to do at this stage is find out more about some of our youngsters.’

Holloway goes on to say that by leaving those four behind and trusting implicitly that those senior lads will train as necessary, so they don’t miss out, and obviously take in pitch time by joining up with Neil Harris and the U21s to stretch their legs, that it gives him the perfect opportunity to have taken Fred Onyedinma, Jack Powell, Josh Siafa and Aiden O’Brien with him, so not only can he look at their efforts and attitude close up in training, but he can also get to know their characters, personalities and how they fit with the group during the off periods.

‘We’ve brought them with us to see what they can do and so they can learn what is required of the if they are going to be part of what we’re trying to achieve this season. I do want to integrate a number of younger players into the group, and the eight we have brought out here with us have the first chance to show their worth.’

The gaffer also explained to fans that whatever the age of the player, this wasn’t going to be a holiday for anybody, and having arrived in the Algarve, the schedule kicked in at 7.25am on our first day there.

‘The first sessions started this morning and the third one will start at 4pm. Then after we’ve eaten we will be sitting down together to do some video analysis and talk about how we’re going to play this season.’

Holloway added that this would be the schedule every day we were out there, apart from one day off where the players can have some extended downtime, socialise with each other and make the most of the bonding elements of such a trip.

‘As the week progresses, their rest time between repetitions will decrease to the point where they will only rest for the same period as they have just worked.’

The gaffer also has a special treat for them, because one element of the ball work he will be doing with them will involve 12 players working with four balls, and they’ll be expected to deal with them, because he wants them thinking much quicker on their feet in games in the future.

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