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By Doug Higginbottom, Mon 20 February 2012 16:15
First day back since Porto, and as training sessions go this was a gentle one. A full squad on view and plenty of exercises done today to shake away the cobwebs and get the bodies moving. They broke off into two teams (a 10 and a 9) to work separately with Mancini and Platt but doing broadly the same things and then came back into do more exercises.There were a fair number of watchers today and this included a few drug testers who had their eyes on specific targets. It sounded like it was going to be the same players who got targeted as well from some comments made (probably best if I don't name names). After the exercises it was all over to another pitch for a passing work out. Nothing of note to mention here apart from when Mario got Silva in a scissor challenge while he (MB) was on the floor. Nothing sinister as both were laughing but I did notice the paps clicking away in the distance so they might have clicked on something different.Then it was into the game to finish and this was lacking intensity as the first day back often and probably should do. Milner missed this to make it 10 v 10 but nothing significant there as he looked fine in the previous game. Kolarov scored the 1st goal with a deflected effort and then Silva headed just over from a really good Yaya cross. Then it seemed to be all about Mario for a spell.First he hit the post, then the bar, before Micah just stopped a certain goal with a last ditch flick away from behind.Then he brought a great Stu save before he finally scored and Micah again saved a goal with a great block. Pizarro fired home and Nigel was denied in a 1 on 1 with Stu and that was that. Only just over an hour for the whole session as the players trouped in and the selected players with a somebody watching them closely.