Ian Taylor (@IJTaylor81), Head of Media & Communications, brings us his latest blog from inside the R’s German training camp …
I OFTEN get accused on twitter of over-hyping the spirit and togetherness within this QPR squad.
‘You would say that, it’s your job’; ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’; 'spirit doesn’t matter, it’s how they perform on a Saturday afternoon’ – they’re just three of the comments I’ve had in recent weeks and, to an extent, I get where people are coming from.
But I can honestly say – and having discussed it at length with long-serving QPR Kit-Man Gary Doyle at training this morning – that the unity within Harry Redknapp’s current crop is the best I’ve known in my eight and a half years at Loftus Road.
There’s no cliques, no airs, no graces – just honest lads going about their daily business in a professional, respectful, committed manner.
For example, at times during my spell at Rangers, it has been challenging to persuade certain members of the squad to conduct media duties.
It’s never easy at the best of times – some players don’t feel comfortable speaking on camera; others would rather let their team-mates do it; some prefer to let their feet do their talking altogether.
But the group on this tour, to a man, are at the other end of the scale.
Today was a case in point.
Five interview requests from the travelling UK press – and a one hundred per-cent success rate!
Rob Green, Richard Dunne, Gary O’Neil, Michael Doughty and Frankie Sutherland all agreed to spend 10-15 minutes of their day with the journos who have travelled over from London and each spoke intelligently and passionately about the club and the season ahead.
It might not seem like a big deal – but it goes a long way to building relationships with the national press and that counts for a lot in today’s game.
Anyway, enough of that … ‘it’s my job to say that after all!’
Today has been another intense day on tour for the R’s squad, with two training sessions pushing the players to their limits.
After a light jog at 8.00am, breakfast followed, before the first session of the day got underway at 10.15am.
Harry has made it known that he plans to experiment with a 3-5-2 in pre-season and it was that formation that was drilled into the players during 3x10mins 11-a-side matches this morning.
Lunch was served on the player’s return to the hotel, before a period of rest and relaxation and the aforementioned media duties.
The second session of the day kicked off shortly after 4.00pm local time and once again the intensity was high, with the players being put through their paces in a series of small-sided games.
For the victors, there was bragging rights … for the losers, a running drill!
Dinner was served an hour or so after training, with the hotel’s catering team serving up a nice German BBQ, as the lads refuelled ahead of another training session tomorrow.