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Under-23s face Murcia test in Spain

Wolves under-23s continue their pre-season preparations with a friendly match against Spanish third division side Real Murcia B on Thursday afternoon.

Rob Edwards’ side have been on a training camp in Murcia since last Friday and have been joined by the under-18s who aren’t involved with the first-team in China. Following Thursday’s friendly, the team will conclude their trip with a match against Villarreal B on Sunday.

On facing a friendly with Real Murcia B

“Preparations have gone really well so far and we’re looking forwards to the game on Thursday. We have spent Wednesday doing some prep in training for the match against Murcia B.

“We’re not preparing for this game any differently than we would for any of our other fixtures. We’ve just been working on ourselves – that’s all I’m looking for from our players.

“Whatever Murcia throw at us, we know how to adapt our game to that, and can change between playing against a back three or five to a back four, but our principles remain the same, our training remains the same.

“We haven’t done anything different to what we usually do because these games are about finding our rhythm. The good thing is there’s a lot of players out here who were with us last season, so they know how we work, and they can help the new ones.”

On pre-season preparations in Spain

“It’s been tough for the players, but I think everyone is enjoying the time away together. We’ve been doing double sessions, and in the heat we’ve experienced has been really challenging for the lads.

“We’ve had to train early in the morning and then try to go again as late as possible in the afternoon to avoid that lunchtime heat.

“But we’ve worked the players quite hard in the mornings when it’s not as hot – but obviously it’s still hot! It’s been a really good couple of days so far, but really challenging for the players, probably mentally challenging as much as anything, but it’s also been physically hard.

“On Monday, because we were almost on the verge of breaking one or two of the lads, we pulled back on the reins slightly, gave them the afternoon off and allowed them to relax after another tough morning session.

“But they’ve been excellent during our first couple of days out here and they’ve deserved this time off to recover.”

On having the under-23s and under-18s together

“We’ve got a few new lads with us, we’ve got a few trialists, and there’s a lot of our lads out in China with the first-team – both under-23s and under-18s – so both groups have been affected by that.

“But that’s what we want; we want our lads with the first-team, so it’s not a moan by any stretch of the imagination, but it does have an effect on the team that we can play.

“It’s been really good to have the players from the 23s together with the 18s because that way I can keep my eye on the 18s, I know who’s doing well, the contact is there, and we’re well aware who could be close to us.

“We’ll probably have a couple of lads from the 18s come up to the 23s for the games this week as well and get the opportunity to play with our lads.

“It’s been a good few days for the whole professional phase out here and was something that I definitely felt was missing from last season. Because the first-team took quite a lot of our lads last pre-season as well, it left us really short on numbers.

“We were out in Holland having to play the guys for full 90 minutes, which is never something you want to be doing, so by having the 23s and 18s together it gives you that larger squad to choose from and is beneficial for everyone.”

Under-23s' pre-season schedule

W 2-1 | Saturday 6th July, 1pm | AFC Wulfrunians (A)

W 6-1 | Wednesday 10th July, 7.30pm | Hednesford Town (A)

Thursday 18th July, 6pm | Real Murcia B (A)

Sunday 21st July, 6pm | Villarreal CF B (A)

Wednesday 24th July, 7.45pm | Hereford United (A)

Wednesday 24th July, 7.45pm | Kidderminster Harriers (A)

Monday 29th July, 4pm | Swansea City (A)

Wednesday 31st July, TBC | Celtic (A)

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