La Manga Day 4: Recuperation and tactics

On day 4 of 1899 Hoffenheim's winter training camp in La Manga the focus was on the players recuperation. One day after the friendly against local side Real Murcia new manager Marco Pezzaiuoli was keen to pay special attention to the players recuperation, as well as running over some of the finer details of his tactical approach.

La Manga del Mar Menor is renowned as a relaxing holiday destination in the south east of Spain. However, for the men from Kraichgau, the mood will be anything but relaxing, even if Thursday's training session didn't quite reach the same levels of as the past few days, it still proved to be a long day at the office. It all got under way at 8:30 in the morning with a 40 minute run around the hotel complex as the players got their pulses going and their appetite up. A short breakfast followed before Marco Pezzaiuoli and the team hopped on their bikes to make the daily trip from hotel to the training ground.

One day after Hoffenheim's first match of 2011 manager Marco Pezzaiuoli decided to concentrate on helping his players recover. The 1899 team still had a lot on their plate. Team tactics regarding defending and attacking were scrutinised, time was spent working on their build-up play, exercising their movement in the channels in a way that will hopefully cause any Bundesliga defence a few problems. "It was important for us to spend some time recovering after the match against Real Murcia", conceded Sejad Salihovic. However, this didn't keep the players exempt from a brief, but instense, half-hour session working on their fitness with athletic coach Christof Elser and Yannick Obernauer.

Vukcevic is back, Weis is on his own and Gulde's on track

Boris Vukcevic was allowed to skip out the fitness session as he continues to recover from a bout of the flu, but was able to take part in the rest of the days activities. "I'm still not feeling 100%, but it's getting better everyday that passes", stated the 20-year old adding: "It's better not too miss too much training as we prepare ourselves for the second half of the season."

Tobias Weis will understand these concerns, as his time in La Manga hasn't exactly run smoothly either. Not only are his long-standing muscle problems still an issue, but the midfielder also managed to pick up a similar virus to Vukcevic, which has severely hampered his involvement in training. "We kept him out of recent training sessions as a precautionary measure and have instead worked with him one-on-one", explained Christof Elser. Of course Weis was in attendance as the team went over the finer points of their tactics.

For Manuel Gulde, the story reads a little differently as he has spent most of his time with Yannick Obenauer, while his teammates have chased a ball, as he continues on his road to recovery. Following a groin operation it has been important for 1899 not to rush him back to quickly and instead they have decided to gradually integrate him into the teams training. "He's making good progress", said Obenauer. "We're taking it step by step with Manuel as we try to get his fitness levels to where they need to be in modern football, it will certainly take time, but it's better to do it this way to get him training with the team again."

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