Oxford United’s first team squad has been working hard all weekend at their training camp in Ireland. Karl Robinson’s squad have been put through their paces with three tough sessions a day since arriving and the Manager has been hugely impressed by what he has seen so far, and by the facilities they have enjoyed near Dublin.
“It’s a place that I know really well and I also know that it’s a place that’s conducive to working hard” he told iFollow. “It’s a great place to train. I know people see us jogging on the beach and it looks like we are on holiday time but it’s a very different story in reality.
“On Saturday they were up for a 6.30 meeting and some testing and then we were on the beach for 7.15 for a bit of cardio work and a bit of fun with the ball as well. Then we went and did a two hour session which was one of the hardest sessions they will probably ever do. Later they did an hour and a half in the gym for more core and strength work.
“It has been tough but it’s about putting the players in a position they don’t really like and seeing how they respond; who moans and who takes it in their stride. Someone said the other day that the mind gives up way before the body and it’s important that the players understand that concept because there are so many times during the football season where you just don’t think you can get over the line or have it in your body. But the mind is an amazing thing and if you push yourself to the limits you can get to places you never thought you could. But you have to know you can do that before you do it in a game.
“The players have been brilliant and worked their socks off. The staff as well. It doesn’t matter what your role is at the club. Whether you are the girls in the ticket office, the marketing manager, Curtis Nelson, Rob Hall, Samir Carruthers… whoever you are we all have an equal part to play if we want a successful football club. If I have to pick a cone up, move a goal or whatever then I do it; the same as every member of staff does. I don’t like people acting above anyone else. We all get stuck in and we all work extremely hard.
“Sunday was hard as well and they will have three days of real intensity. The players will get a night out on Monday, we will allow them to do that because they have earned it, but I couldn’t have asked any more from them so far and the whole trip is off to a great start; we’ve even organised great weather for them as well!”
See the full interview plus plenty of behind the scenes exclusives in iFollow