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Tricky Talk: Captain's conclusions

Captain Chris Cohen shares his thoughts on day nine of Nottingham Forest's pre-season training camp at the IMG Academy in Florida.

13 July 2017

Day nine of Nottingham Forest's pre-season training camp in the USA and it was the final day at the IMG Academy.

The squad were in for a physically and mentally demanding session to end their time in the States and the coaching staff pushed them to their limits.

After the warm-ups, players lined up at six different stations targeting different skill sets, with dribbling at speed, close ball control and passing all tested under time constraints.

Then it was on to a game with three teams, one of which had to close down the ball to win it back and score in one of four goals surrounding the pitch. The work rate was exemplary from all the players but that wasn't the end of the hard work.

The worst was saved for last as sprinting drills tipped the players over the edge but ended their time out on the pitch in Florida.

Chris Cohen said it has been one of the toughest pre-seasons he has ever experienced. 

"It definitely has been," he said. "There hasn't been much off time with two or three sessions a day but it will hold us in good stead for the rest of the season. Today and the last couple of days have been up there with the toughest sessions I have done.

"We all played our part in having a bad season last year but I feel like the pre-season was one of the reasons behind it. We were asking for more running to try and get fitter, which is very unusual, but we haven't been asking for more running on this trip!" 

It was very noticeable how all of the squad were pulling each other through towards the end and encouraging each other to reach their targets and get through the work.

Chris added: "We are all helping each other out. We will all be needed this year as the manager likes a tight squad. We have a fairly big group here but that is with some young players as well and we will all be needed at different stages during the season.

"Whoever it is that is pushing each other on we know they will be needed and we need everyone to perform for us to do well.

"It has been a fantastic trip, the best I have been on since I have been at the club, but it won't mean anything if we don't get the results at the start of the season. We have got no excuses."

After lunch it was into the gym for some work on the lower body, with a focus on power and strength, before the players and staff had some time to themselves.

It has been an extremely productive trip for Mark Warburton and his side, who have built up fantastic fitness levels while also developing their playing style and building team spirit. 

The squad were set for a recovery and stretching session on the beach on Thursday morning before the long journey back to the UK where the hard work continues.


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