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By Doug Higginbottom, Mon 05 March 2012 13:00
Lovely sunny day at Carrington today as I arrived to find AJ in reception trying out some new boots. Bright orange so he won't be hard to spot. Photographers well placed behind the fencing to get pictures as the players left the changing room and on bigger ladders than I ever used :)21 players training today with just Zaba missing. For Zaba the word is the injury isnt bad and it's probably a week. Micah was back training although mostly on his own with a physio. Rekik back with the squad today as was Hargreaves. Mario came over for a hug and hand shake when he came out but only for Italian friends and sadly not for me :(All the exercises/stretches today were done in 2 groups with the Bolton team kept separate and doing less onerous stuff. A fairly typical first day back where they get back in slowly but everyone in good spirits with Nigel especially lively. After some exercises it was into a pass/move and pressing game which overall was quite impressive. Absolutely no space for much of the time due to the quick strong pressing but some great quality when players could see and manage to switch the play with a long pass.After that the Bolton team went in and Wabara came over to make up an 7 a side game which had loads of goals starting with one from Milner. Good to see the strikers all getting a few with arguably the best from Edin getting past a defender to hammer one in off the bar from a tight angle. Carlos got a very good one under severe pressure and another where he rounded the keeper well. Sergio's best came when he stopped the defender and then showed how quick he is over 3 or 4 yards to shift the ball to his left and find the space he needed to fire home. Pure class.Scapuzzi got a few, Nigel only managed one onto the bar, Silva looked really strong and scored a couple before the golden goal was announced. It came when Edin broke through only to be stopped by Rekik but the ball went loose for Kolarov to finish. Strangely they carried on and Carlos bent one onto the inside of a post to almost equalise but then it all ended.Many stayed out for a little shooting practice although not for very long. Just Milner, Kolarov and Hargreaves kept at it and were still going when I left.