MCFC training report 21/02/2012

By Doug Higginbottom, Tue 21 February 2012 15:02

MCFC training report 21/02/2012

I read Vieira's comments this morning before I left. Excellent words from PV and what he said is what I saw today as they all came out for training. There seemed a real buzz today and the groups of players all in great spirits. Cameras were everywhere as it's the press day pre a Euro match. Plenty outside as I arrived and strangely all I heard were Eastern European voices as I walked in. The press conference had just finished and today had taken place in the dome rather than the regular media centre due to the extra numbers.

I was joined in the dug out by a friend of Silva and a fitness coach from Rennes who was here to watch Ivan Carminati and study our methods for a week. I noticed a couple of lads going to train with the EDS who I have never seen before. Must get along to watch one of their full sessions. Brian Kidd was going around shaking hands with all the players and having a quick word, Samir, Yaya and Clichy were having a laugh in a group. Sergio and Mario were moving around and mixing with everybody. That Sergio is such a sweetie (I am allowed to say that aren't I?).

The same 19 on show today despite 1 or 2 little niggles from yesterday that I didn't mention but clearly not any problems. The first jog took them 200 yards away for some real exercises which were quickly followed by some keep ball circles. Even from a distance I could sense the increased intensity from yesterday both in the short/sharp fitness work and also the circles. Plenty of banter going on with Nigel being the loudest.

Then closer for a 2 touch passing game with goals which could only be scored if every player was in the attacking half. Different. Two goals scored by Silva (a delicate back flick) and a powerful shot from Yaya at close range. Then onto a game in the small goals and immediately a goal from Vinnie followed inevitably by one from Nigel. He followed that with a cry of "I own this game". Classic. A very notable thing for me in this short game was Pizarro. In and out of everything, always available, playing with his head up and moving the ball very quickly. Joleon was excellent in defence ensuring Nigel's team won. Samir did get one back but it ended 2-1 with a big miss by GB.

Off for drinks and a few more short sharp fitness exercises. Fast feet in and out of rope ladders and poles before sprinting away. And then into the final game. The intensity just carried on and it was 11 playing against 10 and a very early goal for the 11. Micah breaking on the right knocking a low ball in which Edin swept into the top corner with ease. He nearly scored a 2nd after a great first touch and volley which was well saved.

Sergio broke down the left to cross for Silva to head but Panti flicked it over.Joe could be heard laughing at the ease with which Costel reached the ball.

Nigel then smashed a left foot volley passed an unsighted Joe.

Mario was being marked by Vinnie most of the time but left him to control a long ball brilliantly,turn in and then out before firing low across Joe for a great goal.

The goals were flying today and next it was Yaya finding Sergio superbly and a great finish to make it 2.2.

Silva was oozing quality and a great first touch and surge past the full back to then find Edin for a sweet goal.

Sergio now changed sides to change the balance in theory but his old side scored again through Silva. Nice finish too.

Nigel missed a chance at the other end,unusual given his form today.

Then great interplay, Yaya to Silva to Yaya and he scored easily.

Milner scored a cool sidefoot goal.

Kolarov found Milner with a beauty of a low cross and Milner flicked it in easily and they were running away with it even with a player less.

Constant throughout was the sound of Joe's voice telling his defence either what to do or just what danger was around.

The end was called and a few stayed out for a little extra. Clichy decided he wanted to practice crossing. Nigel, AJ, Mario were shooting from the edge of the box with Pizarro helping like a coach. After a while he went over to help Clichy. Kolo did a little extra running. Mancini took Mario aside for some extra coaching, all words. All in all a very good high intensity session even though on the short side. As I left Hargreaves came out to work but no sign of the other guy.