Manager on triallists, team spirit, loans and more
Manager Darrell Clarke said this morning that there was a good team spirit around the club.
“There is, and the lads who remain here from last season and the new players we have brought in all get on well.
“I don’t think we had a fantastic team spirit last year, if I’m honest, and I’m trying to improve that this time around.
“We will be spending next week at the University of South Wales and that will help foster team spirit even more.”
The boss is pleased with the way pre-season is shaping up.
“It’s been really positive to date, and we haven’t picked up any serious injuries. There have been one or two little niggles, which is to be expected given how hard the boys have been working. Therefore it’s
important that we balance that hard work with the appropriate periods of rest and recovery.
“Pre-season is, of course, where players derive their core fitness but it’s not just about a six week programme because we have to make sure that fitness levels are also topped up during the season.”
It’s been good to see striker Ryan Brunt out on the training ground this week and he appears to be making good progress.
“He’s doing really well, though it will probably be a week or so before he will be do everything that the other lads are doing.
“Nevertheless, he’s looking sharp and he’s looking fit.
“He had serious injury problems last year, so he’s itching to get started and being back with us full time.
“We are just making sure he’s eased back in to ensure he doesn’t suffer any setbacks.
“Potentially he could be like a new signing for us.”
Next Tuesday evening Rovers take on Cheltenham Town at the Abbey Business Stadium, Whaddon Road, in their first pre-season test.
“It’s a first team fixture for us and we are all looking forward to it because it will tell us where we are in terms of our fitness.
“Of course, you don’t win points in pre-season games, but it’s important for the fitness of the players and the organisation of the squad.
“It will be good to see the new boys in action, but it’s important to remember that the game is part of our preparations and that the key is being ready for the first game of the season.”
Next week, at the University of South Wales, is merely a change of location as the manager was keen to stress that the current training regime will continue.
“It won’t be any different, as we will still be undertaking double sessions on most days. I should say that we aren’t just running, as we have undertaken a great deal of intense ball work.
“I like to mix a bit of the old school pre-season training routines with some new ideas but it’s all about getting the right balance and making sure the lads are training to their max.”
Darrell hasn’t ruled out the possibility of bringing in another target man in the near future.
“I have the opportunity of bringing in a couple of loan signings in early August if I need to.
“I’m trying to build a promotion winning squad here and won’t make a signing just for the sake of it.
“If I miss one of my targets, I move on to the next one; it’s all about being patient.
“I can’t say I’m not frustrated, because I would have liked to have had my squad in place before next week, but that might not now be the case.
“I’m sure almost every other manager is feeling exactly the same as me, but it’s just a case of remaining patient.”
The full interview with Darrell will be on Gas Player later this evening.