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Owls boss discusses pre-season and the hard work ahead

30 June 2021

On being back for pre-season..

I’m delighted to be back and good to see the players all back in for pre-season, we start this campaign and it’s not long after the old campaign has finished.

Obviously, we have come down here to get 10 days good training in, get the focus right, get the mentality right and get some good work in.

But I’m pleased to say having seen the players after six or seven weeks, they are in good condition which normally players are nowadays but it’s great to see them in really good nick and it’s been a good couple of days.

On why the Owls are in Newport..

We’ve come down here because we felt with certain COVID restrictions and protocols and everything else, I just thought this would be a good venue for us to come down. We did a recce on it in the summer and the facilities are great and I’d like to thank the Welsh FA for allowing us to come here, we have two magnificent pitches and it’s a nice location.

It allows us to get a real focus on, get some real work in and start putting things together for the season that’s in front of us.

When you get back in you get rid of the rustiness, so to speak, top up the fitness and get their bodies in a robust state to deal with the demands – that’s a steady build-up over the six weeks of pre-season.

You’ve then got the games that come along where you try to get some rhythm and fluidity to your play and a clear understanding. We want to get a base level of fitness without sustaining any knocks or injuries that’s the big thing that you want to do.

Good to see the boys after the break..

I’m really happy to see them back in, the condition they have come back in is excellent and what we have to do now is, we have a pre-season plan in place and we are carefully going through that plan and everything is measured out in terms of what we want the players to do and the volume of training we want the players to do.

The last couple of days have been excellent. We want them to work with the ball, get used to the ball. A player can be a professional for years and years, you can have six or seven weeks off and not touch a ball and it’s just about getting that touch back, the rhythm, position their feet and body to receive and with all those things you re-train the body.

You do switch it back on, so to get the balls out early doors, it’s good for them to get a feel of the ball. But one thing you can’t get away from is the running, you need that and anyone will say if you’re not running, then it’s not a pre-season.

Physically it will be a demanding for them and they know that. You need those fitness levels.

Bringing the younger players..

It’s really important for me to see the younger players because since arriving at the football club I’ve seen them and some of their ability. What I wanted to do was get them down here over these 10 days and really have a look.

They’ll get the opportunity to work with the seniors and to play in pre-season games with the seniors and it’s over to them really.

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I’ve said to them, if ever they have an opportunity to stake a claim in Sheffield Wednesday’s first team on the front line then now is your opportunity.

It’s a big couple of weeks for them, I’m really excited by them, some of the signs have been promising and they just have to continue with it.

Having Iorfa and Luongo back..

Two names that almost feel like new signings, if you like. To have them two back has been great.

We’ve been managing them in terms of the first week/two weeks because of the length of time they have been off. They are in with the boys but parts of it are detailed to step out of training so as not to overload them.

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It’s really about integrating their bodies back into training on a steady basis over the next couple of weeks before we really let them go. But it’s wonderful to have them there, their appetite and desire is there for all to see, they are good players and they are delighted to be alongside their team mates.

Both of them are fine, it’s just the volume we have to control in these early stages of pre-season.


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