Play switching, sharing the load and a tough first test

On Wednesday, Markus Gisdol again asked his team to train twice at the “Pinatar Arena” facilities. In the morning, fitness coaches Nicklas Dietrich and Otmar Rösch took the team.

After their warm-up, co-ordination training was on the schedule. That meant combining a variety of runs and movements. The point of this exercise was to improve eye-foot coordination and their reaction time.

Then the assistant managers Frank Kaspari and Frank Fröhling took over. The focus, as it was in the days before, was on winning the ball back. Manager Markus Gisdol watched the small groups before taking over when the exercises moved to 11 vs. 11. Gisdol continuously interrupted, reminded, corrected, pointed out runs and worked towards an improved side.

“Happy and motivated”

There was a key difference compared to the exercises on Tuesday – after work on winning the ball back was finished, the session continued. Gisdol and his team trained intensively on switching the play, a real strength of TSG's during the first half of the season. It's certainly one that the side will be keen to continue in the second half of the season as well. Roberto Firmino sees it that way: “We are always looking to improve, make fewer mistakes than we did in the first half of the season, and collect a lot of points. We've got to work hard and stay focused though, everyone knows that. The mood is good. Everyone is happy and motivated when they step on the pitch.”

On Wednesday, not all of the first-team players were involved. Niklas Süle (Achilles tendon) was back training with the ball, but on his own. Jeremy Toljan (calf muscle hardening) completed a light running session. Markus Gisdol also saw Anthony Modeste and Sven Schipplock drop out during the morning session due to a thigh bruise and an Achilles niggle.

Both were not involved in the afternoon, when the coaching staff focused on stabilising exercise and a long run for the players. Whether or not the strikers will be available for Thursday's friendly against Belgian first-division side OH Leuven (15:30 CET) will be decided nearer kick-off time. Before the game on Thursday there is also a 10am training session.

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