As one of the few Portuguese members of the Wolves squad who didn’t return to his homeland lockdown, Diogo Jota is enjoying the increase in intensity of the sessions at Compton Park since the players returned to structured training earlier this week.
With all the players and coaches back in Wolverhampton, they are now taking part in individual training sessions alongside a member of Nuno Espirito Santo’s coaching staff, while keeping to strict social distancing protocols.
But after spending the past two months training at the Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground with no-one else around him, Jota is having to put in the hard work to get back to match fitness as preparations for a possible return to football step up a notch.
On the changes made to training
“Training is quite the same [as it has been during lockdown] although there’s now a member of staff nearby.
“There’s also a player on the other pitch next to me, but it’s the same feeling, because you are still working alone.
“It’s a bit harder than what we have been doing because there’s someone near to tell us what to do, how to do it and in specific times.
“When you have someone to push you, it’s always hard because when you’re alone, you can think ‘I’m tired now, I’ll rest a little bit’.
“But I think this is what we need to do, so when we get back to playing, we are in the best condition possible.”
On his training ‘partners’
“It’s strange, but because there’s somebody nearby and we can see each other, we can start to feel that we are approaching to normality, and that’s what we want.
“I’ve been working with Neves, he’s on the next pitch, and Max Kilman, who is on the further one.
“They’re the two guys that I’ve been working at the same time with, although it’s in the distance. So, obviously we can say something to each other in the distance, which makes it funny, but mainly strange.”
On choosing to live near Compton
“I always like to live near the training ground because at the end of the day it’s our work and I don’t like to have a big journey to reach the training ground.
“I think it’s the best idea, especially when we live in a foreign country, because we need to move to a new house, so we want to choose one that is near the training ground because that’s the spot that we will need to be every single day.”
On fitting FIFA practice in around training
“I always like to do my training in the morning and after I have the rest of the day for free time. I usually spend it watching movies or a series and after that, playing FIFA and other games with friends.
“That’s one thing that I think in this period has grown quite fast, some apps that allow us to watch someone playing and have a chat, so now we can play a game with our friends and talk with each other at the same time.
“I think it’s a good way to spend time, to talk with the people we used to talk in real life.”