The latest from San Pedro del Pinatar: Win the ball and “fire at will”

Before training can get underway for Hoffenheim in Spain, there's the customary bike ride. Beck, Salihovic and Abraham and Co. were on two-wheels as they arrived at the training ground. After only a kilometre, they were on the grass - the shortest distance for the best conditions.

Manager Markus Gisdol is happy: “The training ground is in great condition. The climate and the short distances to travel here are impressive. This location has really been a good choice.”

On the second day of training at San Pedro del Pinatar, there were two sessions to be completed. In the morning, the focus was on control, coordination and winning the ball back. The players were trained individually in terms of tactics (later in groups and then as a team) in those regard. The exercise lasted 90 minutes before the players cycled back to the hotel. After lunch and a rest, the wheels turned once again as the second session started.

“Basic, elementary things”

Another 90 minutes were on the schedule - but with one focus. The motto of the afternoon was “fire at will”. That meant only one thing: Shooting practice. Not only Modeste, Firmino and Volland showed their qualities in this exercise, but others also regularly found the back of the net. For goalkeepers Jens Grahl, Koen Casteels, Alexander Stolz and Tim Paterok it was a tough test. They were helped by the woodwork though, particularly when it came to Eugen Polanski who regularly hit the bar.

Markus Gisdol spoke to the travelling press in the early evening: “We are going to work on things intensely here, things we already worked on in Austria in the summer. We will continue to smooth out the basis of our playing style, reduce the gaps and the space. They are simple building blocks that you have to work meticulously on. They are absolutely pivotal to our game. Overall, we are starting at a much higher level, tactically, than we did last summer.”

Both Niklas Süle and Jeremy Toljan were not involved in team training. Both had calf problems and so could only take part in light running before getting treated by the physiotherapist. They should return to team training on Wednesday.

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