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Cobra

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Genuine question, what is the advantages of taking a squad to warmer climates to train if they are coming back to fixtures at the end of January/February?

I understand the value of it during the close season, where the heat, and in some cases altitude, will accelerate the fitness recovery in preparation for the summer kick-off. I just don’t see the true value of it at this time of year.

 

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I really thought we suffered badly last year with the break and then the Scottish Cup fixture. I think any of the top flight teams against second tier full time clubs who have been playing through January are at a real risk of tripping up - I think we went out last year while Hearts took a replay and extra time to scrape past Raith. A couple of mismatches, Elgin V Inverness and Stenhousemuir V St Johnstone, were also pretty tight and the only real convincing victories were against opposition out of the senior set-up. This year, I think us, Thistle and Aberdeen will have a similarly tough time if we don't get our preparation correct.

I'd be happy enough if they just stay close by and get some decent closed doors for themselves. Going abroad sounds great to recharge but with a lot of movement possibly on the cards, I hope we don't get into a pre-season mentality at quite a critical point in the season.

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It does seem like we're set up for another fall.

Last year we comprehensively beat St Johnstone to end the year on a high then had a three-week gap before we played struggling Championship side St Mirren at Dens in the Cup when former Dee John Sutton put us to the sword. This time we face ICT with Baird and Calder no doubt desperate to be the ones to inflict misery on us.

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These kind of trips cost thousands of pounds, £50k plus. Flights, Hotel, Insurance, transport around the country etc... If you want a game across there, referee costs etc.. Is it really worth it? That sort of money can be used on a new player or two. 

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1 hour ago, Cobra said:

I see Tommy Wright in in the press bleating about not getting money to take his players on a warm weather training trip this month. Anyone know what Dundee are doing before ICT come to town? Is it just training as usual?

McCann said in one of the weekend's interviews that the players were off this week, to allow the foreigners to travel home, then back in next week to resume normal training. Two full weeks before ICT ought to see the players in the right shape. I'd think a lot of clubs will be arranging a bounce game, or two, in that time.

NM will surely be a bit better prepared for ICT than PH seemed to be for St.Mirren. 

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1 hour ago, Cobra said:

I see Tommy Wright in in the press bleating about not getting money to take his players on a warm weather training trip this month. Anyone know what Dundee are doing before ICT come to town? Is it just training as usual?

Cobra. I read Tommy's comments too and my initial reaction was that if I was his boss / chairman then I'd be livid with his public comments. He essentially said that he thought the benefits of a winter break abroad would outweight the costs; he asked for the money and the club said no. He might be right with his points but going public with an internal discussion that, in my view, is a 'them' v 'me' argument I think is wrong. I guess it shows the power he has...

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1 hour ago, GregTeamDee said:

These kind of trips cost thousands of pounds, £50k plus. Flights, Hotel, Insurance, transport around the country etc... If you want a game across there, referee costs etc.. Is it really worth it? That sort of money can be used on a new player or two. 

At this time of year, a lot of clubs head to the sports resorts in Spain (eg, La Manga) & Portugal, which are used to hosting many of the Nordic clubs for around a month of their winter close season, and some German clubs during their winter break. The Nordic clubs (for 20 years or so) tend to play 3 or 4 games during their stay & often run an unofficial wee tournament. It would be easy enough to fix up a game, but you're right about the cost.

It always seems to me that there's something not quite right, though, if average Norwegian/Swedish clubs can afford a month there & SPL clubs can't afford a week. :chin:  

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5 minutes ago, EastLothianBlue said:

Cobra. I read Tommy's comments too and my initial reaction was that if I was his boss / chairman then I'd be livid with his public comments. He essentially said that he thought the benefits of a winter break abroad would outweight the costs; he asked for the money and the club said no. He might be right with his points but going public with an internal discussion that, in my view, is a 'them' v 'me' argument I think is wrong. I guess it shows the power he has...

I agree, and it did make me think he's slowly building a case for a 'get me out of here, I'm being held back in my career by small-time thinking' plea to the N.Irish FA, should O'Neill leave. I doubt if his chairman is too impressed.

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