Friday, 22 July 2016

The US has been good for AFCB

I have had a good view of some of the recent videos of AFCB training out in the USA. They have certainly been some pretty intense sessions and that is the nature of Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall in leaving no place for any player to hide. To get the first game out of the way against Minnesota United FC will also have been pleasing for the players who know now they have to get in match mode for the coming season.

It is especially good to hear from Emerson Hyndman and Nathan Aké admitting that it is not so easy to just walk into the side. They have been made to work hard and you can see Lys Mousset very keen to grab himself a water bottle whenever he can in the video clips. I do hope that the lads don't over do it either in trying to impress. Hamstrings and knocks come all too frequently to those who press a little too hard. I heard that Steve Cook pulled up in the warm up before the 0-4 win over Minnestoa United FC, but Emerson Hyndman (ankle) has not been training an is out for a couple of weeks while Benik Afobe is to have a scan on his knee. Adam Smith, Junior Stanislas, Nathan Aké, Ryan Fraser, Andrew Surman and Tyrone Mings - all took no part in the action - I hope there are no other casualties!
Steve Cook is a doubt for the Portsmouth match.
AFCB were at the top of the stats for running last season and even though some Premier League teams have already played a few warm up matches I think that AFCB are well set up in keeping it fairly low key in the teams they are to play in pre-season. Having only lost a few first team members it really depends how soon some of the new arrivals find it easy to fit in that matters. The comradery will have been boosted by the US trip and it's all about carrying that on now into the remaining pre-season games and the first session of Premier League games.

All the teams say that this is the most important time in how well a team will do over the coming season. Get this training wrong and a failure to integrate players into a group can cause problems later on and leave a side playing catch up. AFCB seem to know where they need to be though with about a month to go before the opening game and like last summer the US air has got the players away from UK media to a large extent and has enabled them to focus on what matters - themselves.

Don't forget to look on FiftyFiveOne's website for a report of the Minnesota game and that Sammy Ndjock own goal!

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