Pre-season intensity vital for Fleetwood says Pressley

Steven Pressley is hoping to implement his high-intensity fitness methods on his rebuilt Fleetwood squad this pre-season to give them a platform to tear up League One.

Thursday, 30th June 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:52 pm
Steven Pressley

The Town manager revealed he planned to implement such a regime when he first took over from Graham Alexander last October, though he decided to tone down the training due to injuries to key players, like captain Nathan Pond and midfielders Jimmy Ryan and the now departed Antoni Sarcevic.

The players were given a close-season plan to keep them in peak condition before yesterday’s return to training.

Now Pressley, whose men won their battle against the drop to League Two on the final day, intends to spend pre-season getting his players up to the levels he believes are required to keep them in the top half of the table next season.

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The Scot said: “When (assistant) Neil MacFarlane and I came in, we put quite a hard regime in place in terms of additional fitness and getting players up to the levels I wanted. I have a way I want the team to play. To be able to play that way, I wanted to improve and optimise the fitness levels.

“We were pushing the players and pushing them, and as a result we were playing high- intensity football.

“We were training at a high-intensity level, and slowly but surely we began to see the signs of wear and tear as players picked up injuries, so we had to address that and the volume of training came right down.

“We had to reduce the loads on the players, but now if we have that platform in pre-season we can truly build towards the season.

“The win over Crewe (2-0 on the final day) was a pivotal game for me moving this club forward and for the players.

“I worked to get us to this summer in a position to rebuild and hopefully make a big impression this season.”

There has been a high player turnover this summer, with three new goalkeepers replacing last season’s trio, while six outfield players have been signed and five released.

Pressley is still on the hunt for a winger and says his rebuilding process is not yet complete.

He said: “I’m really tight with this group. I love working with this group and if we can add the right personnel I believe we can be a good team moving forward.”