Steven Taylor has given a good interview in the Evening Chronicle today, and he says the training is very tough in the bright sunshine and heat of Portugal.
Steven Taylor – much harder then last year
When Alan Pardew returned for pre-season, and finally broke his summer silence after Joe Kinnear had been appointed, he said he had planned this pre-season to be the toughest the players will have had under him, in fact the toughest pre-season he has conducted in his 14 year management career.
And certainly on Tuesday night, the Newcastle players looked extremely sharp for what was the very first game of pre-season – but it’s only one game.
And Steven rightly says the players all have to prove themselves all over again next season, after the club was let down last season, and after finishing 5th top, we finished 5th bottom and were fighting against the unimaginable – relegation.
This is what Steven said today:
“Pre-season’s definitely harder than last year.” “We’re doing plenty of running. I’m enjoying it as well.” “After a difficult year, we want to hit the ground running in the Premier League and prove ourselves again.”
“Everyone’s going to watching us very closely after last year. We need a big season from everyone.” “The good thing is that everyone wants to prove themselves.”
“No one is dropping out of sessions when they’re feeling a bit tight.”
“They’re completing it. You can rest up afterwards.” “The discipline’s been spot on. A few things have changed, and the lads have bought into it.” “Hopefully, we’ll take that into the games.”
“Sometimes one or two might come back overweight but that hasn’t happened.” “Football has changed massively, and you’ve got to keep yourself ticking over, and have a good diet.”
“The good thing is that everyone’s kept themselves in good condition.” “With six weeks off, the players can only relax for a couple of weeks. You’ve got to spend the rest of the time keeping fit. Everyone’s come back in top shape.”
One thing that Alan Pardew wanted this season was a lot more competition for places, and he has got that with the five new Frenchmen brought in, and Steven himself will face competition at center-back from French International Yanga-Mbiwa and Mike Williamson, if Mike is still at Newcastle come September.
And Steven will be trying to keep himself fit this season, because since January of our promotion year in 2010, he’s pickled up a number of serious injuries.
Hopefully hiring performance director Faye Downey as a fitness consultant will help with that, and according to the Evening Chronicle Faye is out in Portugal working with the players – so that’s good to hear.
If our players are super-fit next season, maybe we can run the other sides off their feet – now there’s a nice thought.
Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 us on Google+:
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org