Gaffer's thoughts on pre-season so farAs the Shrewsbury Town squad return for the second full week of pre-season training, manager Micky Mellon says he is delighted with how his players have gone about their workload.
The players have been training three times a day and have been met with various tasks including long distance runs and ball work.
And the manager has paid tribute to his players for the way they have attacked the hard work.
“It has gone really well and the boys have worked three times a day starting at 8 in the morning,” he told ShrewsWeb.
“I must take this opportunity to thank the Shropshire Shufflers who have provided us with pace makers.
“They have trained again at half 10 and then they have been out again in the afternoons so it has been three sessions a day and they have worked really hard. The players should get a lot of credit because they have attacked everything we have put in front of them.
“We are doing a lot of football so they are already getting into the little principles of how we want to play at Shrewsbury.
“The little bits like pressing and working hard for space are the kind of things we need the new lads to be involved in and get used to playing that way so it has been a brilliant week.
“It has been good to get back into it and it feels like we are well on our way now.”
A new introduction to the pre-season programme has been the GPS trackers that the players have been wearing.
Mellon is delighted the club now has access to the equipment and believes it could make a huge difference.
“It really has changed an awful lot of how we have done things this pre-season and it will continue to do that,” he said.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Super Blues for making that piece of equipment available to us. At some stage we will show them the data if we get the chance to show them the way it has enabled us to shape the way we are doing things to protect the players or to nudge them on a little bit or to make us more aware of the sessions we are putting on.
“We can measure everything to the inch almost and see what every player’s load is. It just goes to show that we are a united football club and everyone wants the same thing.
“For them to go and provide us with that is fantastic and we are very appreciative of that and we will make sure we get every ounce of use out of it as possible to put together a team the fans are very proud of and want to come and watch every week.
“The equipment we have got can be worn during the games which is incredible data for us. We are going to be able to gauge everything including tactics.
“What the equipment does is shows where every player goes and how often he gets there and how he is getting there so it is a really important piece of kit. It is not a toy but it is something we will make full use of and I am sure it is well documented now people talk of these extra percentages that you need to gain an advantage this is certainly going to help us.”
Unlike days gone by, the Town squad have seen quite a lot of the football already in pre-season. And Mellon says this is with the goal of getting the new faces used to how he wants them to play.
“We will continue to try and play football this season and try and integrate the new players into the group and into the style we want to try and adopt this season,” he said.
“Everybody has got heavily involved and it has been good to be back.”
Despite pre-season being well underway, Mellon says he is still looking to strengthen his squad.
There are currently a few triallists with the club and the manager said they try to keep their identity quiet to stop other clubs from becoming aware of their availability.
“We are always looking to strengthen and we have a few things that we are on with at the minute,” said the manager.
“Hopefully over the next few days and weeks we can get them things over the line.
“We try to keep our business to ourselves. That is why we don’t come out and talk about individuals being here because it can make it very difficult for us that if it gets out into the media it alerts other clubs to the availability of some of the trialists we are bringing here.
“We are doing nothing other than trying to give ourselves the best possible chance of bringing these players to the football club.
“We want to have a good look at them so we will continue to try and do our best to keep that under wraps only because we don’t want to alert other clubs.
“The last thing we want to do is let other clubs know the players we are looking at as that will only alert them to their availability and enter us into a battle to try and keep them.
“It is something we have always worked really hard to try and do here.
“It is getting more and more difficult but fans cant rest assured that is why we are doing it to try and give ourselves the best possible chance of bringing very good footballers to the football club.
“We have got a couple of triallists at the minute and we are trying to do exactly that to protect them as well but also to protect ourselves to stop alerting everybody else these are the players we are looking at.”
The squad will take on Wolves in a behind closed doors friendly on Saturday in their first game time of the pre-season schedule.
Mellon says the only reason it is a private game is due to the ease of the getting the game organised.
“It is a good game for us to take on and it is probably under the right conditions as well. We will probably getting towards being ready for a game by then – we will have been back over two weeks by then,” he said.
“We will go over there and have a really good test against a Championship club. We will start getting the team gelled in order to try and win games of football.
“ It is in a bit more of a controlled environment but there is nothing we are trying to hide away.
“It is just easier for us to arrange it quickly like the way we have done to get the game on and get what we need out of it. We are not trying to keep anything a secret.”
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