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U's Prepare for Priestfield

Pep Clotet talks to iFollow ahead of Checkatrade Game

4 December 2017

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Oxford United return to action on Tuesday night when they travel to Gillingham in the Checkatrade Trophy. (7pm)

The U’s came back late last week after a short break in Spain which Manager Pep Clotet believes will be of real benefit to the players:

“It was very positive to be able to get away and get some quality time on the pitch” he told iFollow. “We had some very good training sessions and some recovery work and I think it helped a lot to get away for a week. We weren’t working towards a game so we could focus on fine tuning the details and clarifying the areas where we felt we needed a little more understanding. We could disconnect from a specific game and that helps people enjoy the game and enjoy training without worrying about getting ready to compete.

“At the same time we have been working towards some big games and we have been preparing for Gillingham the same way that we prepare for all games. Football is about close margins and every game is very difficult so you have to prepare well.”

United could have striker Gino van Kessel available again after a hamstring problem, with fellow forward Agon Mehmeti a week behind and midfielder Joe Rothwell hoping to be involved in Saturday’s home game against Doncaster after coming off as a precaution against Southend in United’s last match.

“Gino trained with us last week and we will assess him today” Pep confirmed. “If he can be with us then that’s good, and Agon will have another week and then maybe he can be involved next week. Joe’s medical report is not as bad as it first looked. He felt it a little and didn’t push it from then and they tell me he will be OK and available to train again on Thursday, which is good news.”

See the full interview, and watch the whole game LIVE in iFollow.

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