It will have been a tough going for our players over the last ten days in America, what with all the training, the moving around to three different destinations in what for them would be long trips in very hot weather.
But there’s also a huge positive about the trip, and that is the lads and the coaches will have got to know each other a lot better, and that will be great for team spirit and togetherness in the squad, which was missing during the second half of last season.
Steve McClaren – needed to get to know the players
Unfortunately we did pick up some injuries on the tour, and Curtis Good and Manu Riviere were injured and it seems Coloccini has also been carrying an Achilles problem – and that’s a bad time for Colo not to even be playing, following his poor form last season.
This is what Steve told the local press after the game:
“When you come on these trips, 10 or 11 days is always very tough. The last two were very tough, and I think you saw that in the first half.”
“There was a good response in the second half. We’re only fresh into pre-season a few weeks ago.”
“We needed to get to know the players, and there’s no better way to get to know the players than when you come on tour and travel for 10 or 11 days together.”
“The staff have been fantastic. They made it so easy. Just to come away with no serious injuries, I’m so pleased with that.”
“You’re never close enough and you never have enough preparation time for the new season.”
Things looked bad after 70 minutes when we went down 4-1 but the one really positive thing about this trip is Rolando Aarons – and he scored a fabulous goal last night.
In fact he scored two in a minute after 75 minutes and he made the first goal, when he simply waltzed around the full-back on the left after six minutes, and laid one on to Wijnaldum – who doesn’t miss those.
Mitrovic will be rubbing his hands when he sees how good this 19 year-old old is at setting up chances – Rolando’s not bad at scoring goals either.
Here’s the pre-season schedule.
|Fri 10th July (8:00 pm)||Gateshead||International Stadium||W 1-0|
|Tue 14th July (8:00 pm CT - 2:00 am Wed Newcastle time)||Club Atlas||Miller Park, Milwaukee||L 2-1|
|Sat 18th July (8:00 pm PT - 4:00 am Sun Newcastle time)||Sacramento Republic||Bonney Field, Sacramento||W 1-0|
|Tue 21st July (7.30 pm PT - 3:30 am Wed Newcastle time)||Portland Timbers||Providence Park, Portland||L 4-3|
|Sun 26th July (1:00 pm)||Sheffield United||Bramall Lane||D 2-2|
|Wed 29th July (7:45 pm)||York City||Bootham Crescent||L 2-1|
|Sat 1st August (3:00 pm)||Borussia Mönchengladbach||St. James' Park||L 1-0|
One funny thing last night my wife Madeline pointed out was the weather forecast in Raleigh is that we have a cold spell coming through, and so the temperature will drop – today’s high is only expected to be 91 degrees Fahrenheit – according to the weatherman.
Yesterday it was close to 100 degrees.