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Pressley on back-to-back pre-season

3 May 2013

City gaffer explains his thinking behind two pre-season games in two days

Sky Blues boss Steven Pressley says he wants to create an intense pre-season friendlies schedule which will fuse together his squad in terms of fitness and togetherness ahead of the 2013/14 League One campaign.

Pressley has taken the unusual approach of scheduling respective back-to-back pre-season friendly trips to Mansfield Town and Oxford United at the end of July.

City travel to Mansfield's One Call Stadium on Friday, July 26th before taking the trip to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday, July 27th.

When asked about his thinking behind the intensive scheduling, Pressley said that he wants to have a streamlined squad made up of established first teamers and development squad players who will be on equal footing in terms of fitness and the club's football philosophy when the season kicks off proper on Saturday, August 3rd.

"We're obviously going to be working with a more manageable, tight-knit squad of first team and development players next year and that is exactly what I want because I want that whole group to be vying for first team places," he said.

"The thinking behind these two games is a chance to give all of the players a chance to get up to match pace in a short period of time rather than using the majority of the squad for one game and then having to wait three or four days to get the rest of the squad involved.

"Both games will be approached with a similar mix of development and first team players to ensure they are preparing in comparable environments."

Pressley also intimated that the quick-fire nature of the two friendlies could very well be replicated throughout the summer.

"We want to utilise the full group that we have at our disposal because the intention is to have an entire squad that is vying for a starting place come matchday. That creates competition and intensity and that's exactly what I want.

"We don't want a situation where some players feel more ready to take on the season than others. We want to create an atmosphere where everybody is up to speed on match pace and how we want to play our football next season because we want every member of our squad next season to feel equally responsible and invested in our performances on the pitch." 

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