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Gaffer: Training camp will bring us all closer

2 July 2018

Manager Gary Johnson believes the club’s training camp later this week will be the ideal opportunity for the Robins to bond and become closer - both on and off the field.

Johnson will take his players away to Leicestershire for the second part of the week so they can step up preparations ahead of the new Sky Bet League Two season.

The gaffer has been delighted with the work ethic and togetherness of his new-look Cheltenham Town squad in the first few days of pre-season.

But he acknowledges both the planning and work rate will go up another level this week as the team live and breathe football for several days.

“You can really bond on these trips. It is like a month at the training ground to have three or four days away,” he said.

“You have them together in the evenings and when they are having meals, breakfast and dinner, you can show videos and keep working with them.

“You will get to see the characters pretty quick, they will come out and some have already started to show that. And you will see the followers too. You can’t have all of them being leaders.

“It looks to be a good mix and going away they will get to know each other better and they will get to know me and the staff. At the moment we are all very happy as a group.”

The Robins will also play a behind closed doors training fixture with West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday afternoon as Johnson looks to give all his players valuable early season minutes.

“It’s to get their touch,” he said. “Many years ago you never touched a football for the first five weeks of pre-season. They have been off for six weeks so you lose that deft touch.

“We’ve been giving them quite a bit of ball work in the afternoon and running in the morning. But a game gives them competitiveness against someone else. It will help with team energy and spirit.

“I’m pleased I’ve put it in early. They will only play 45 minutes, but I want to see real tempo and for them to show us what we know they can do.

“The lads have all come back fit, gelled well and I’ve asked them to show their X-Factor,” he added.

“We have done a lot of work and there is camaraderie because they all have one gripe – they are shattered at the end of the day!

“You look for the quality now and myself and Pete (Johnson) know the quality of these players and just hope they can put it together.

“We’ve got an idea of how this team is going to play and they haven’t disappointed us.”

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