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Ready For Schedule

PUBLISHED

08:25 8th March 2014

Backroom team well prepared

Nine games in 29 days – a fairly hectic footballing schedule by any stretch of the imagination.

But it is one which the Wolves squad will be well prepared for thanks to the work being done behind the scenes.

It’s nothing new for the club’s medical and sport science teams to be constantly assessing the players’ fitness levels and putting on regular pre-and-post training sessions designed to reduce the risk of injury.

And all that work and communication with Head Coach Kenny Jackett and the coaching staff will continue over the coming weeks during a crucial – and congested – phase of the season.

“The biggest thing going into a schedule like this is recovery,” says Head of First Team Performance Tony Daley, ahead of the first of those games at Walsall today.

“With the way the fixture list is going it is just going to be about playing, recovery, playing, recovery.

“It’s about making sure the players are ready for the next game – that’s the crucial part – as soon as one game is over you are immediately preparing for the next.

“They need to have their ice baths, massages, recovery shakes and go and do the cool-down and then the following day is a recovery day as well.

“We do GPS monitoring, hot/cold therapy, the Apollo system of self-assessment where the players tell us how they are feeling instantly after a session, and the importance of nutrition - all those factors come into play.

“Ourselves and the medical department are speaking with Kenny and the coaches all the time about the players and their fitness levels.

“The GPS monitors assess how much work the players are doing and we speak to players about how they are feeling.

 “The medical department will also be looking at whether the players can go and play all three games in a week.

“It’s about getting the players through in the best way possible so they are available to the Head Coach for the games that he needs them.

“There may be some players that you need to look after more than others if they maybe have a specific niggle and that is all looked at on an individual basis.

“Those players whose training loads appear to be too high can then be pulled out if needed to have an extra day’s recovery.”

There will also be a balancing act played out during the forthcoming busy spell because while players involved in the games will need rest and recovery, those waiting in the wings will need to maintain the right level of fitness and intensity to be ready when called upon.

Daley explains:  “The ones who are in the team will play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday and they will need monitoring for their recovery but it is the ones who are not who need to be training at the right intensity to make sure they are ready.

“The players who haven’t been involved as much will be training as normal.

“They need to keep their fitness levels going as much as possible.

“There is always talk about players throughout the squad being ready as they will be needed but if they come in and are not right at it in terms of their fitness then there is the risk for them of picking up injuries.

“It’s not a pre-season, but they have got to train at a decent level and at the right times so that if they do come in and are straightaway up to the pace rather than needing a couple of games to get used to it.”

It has been a good season so far in terms of the team’s injury record and fitness levels,  but Daley is not getting carried away, and knows everything will have to be done properly over the coming weeks as the schedule intensifies.

“It has all gone well in terms of fitness and injuries but no one will get carried away – ask me again on May 3rd!” he says.

“For us it’s all about keeping the players on the field so they are available to the gaffer and keeping their intensity high when they are out there.

“It is pleasing that one of the by-products linked to that is the league position we are in at the moment  but there is still a lot of work to be done by all of us if we are to have a successful season.

“We have put ourselves in a good position but this is the make or break stage of the season now and if we can get through this next really busy period and do well we will be in an even better position.

“The players know what they need to do as well and are very receptive to it.

“We’ve always known this period was coming so it is not a shock to us but at the same time we are not going to over-hype it and just have to carry on our work.

“We have got everything in place to make sure there is the best chance possible of the players being available for these games and the players are aware of their own responsibilities as well in terms of looking themselves during this period.

“There will be no surprises to the players in terms of how we are going to deal with this period and the times they will be in at the training ground.”

 

 

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