Oxford United’s winter training camp has picked up pace over the last couple of days as they go through their paces in Spain.
The squad flew out to Barcelona for a week and after a recovery day following the draw at Southend they have been working hard since Monday, as Manager Pep Clotet told us:
“It is a long season and it has been good to get away as a group and work on lots of things. There is an element of team bonding about the trip; there are several new faces since we went to Portugal in pre-season and we want to emphasise the culture and the values that we believe make this club so special.
“Physically we have had a couple of really intense training sessions over the last couple of days, but we also want to make the most of a week where we unfortunately have no game to build towards this weekend. That allows us to work at full intensity and then come back ready for first the game at Gillingham on Tuesday night and then the challenges of the busy Christmas period.”
The week has seen good progress from a number of players edging closer to a return to action, as Pep told us:
“That has been a big positive. Gino van Kessel is probably the furthest along with his recovery and Agon Mehmeti is also doing well. We will monitor them closely but both should hopefully be available next week. Charlie Raglan gets closer with every session as well, as does Sam Long. Neither of them has played so far this season so that will provide us with some of the help we'll need from now on.”