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Excellent in training

Kewell praises his players' effort ahead of Stevenage clash

15 September 2018

Harry Kewell says a full week of training with his players has been just what they needed ahead of this afternoon's clash with Stevenage.

With a midweek Checkatrade Trophy trip to Grimsby coming in just his third day at Notts, the gaffer did not have as much time as he would have liked to get his ideas across ahead of Exeter.

But with a clear schedule this week, Kewell has been impressed with the training sessions in the build-up to this weekend.

“It’s been our first real week together and the players have been excellent," he said. "It’s been really positive.

“I’ve been able to get an idea of the training they are used to and they have got an insight into how I work as well.

“The players have been excellent since I took over and they’ve responded very well to last week’s defeat and showed real enthusiasm.”

With his side guilty of making too many mistakes this season, the Australian feels improving the energy in the squad will see Notts get wins on the board.

“Fitness is the key right now,” he added. “The only reason you make mistakes is that you are tired so the fitter you are, the clearer you think.

“I’ve been working them hard in training to improve that and on Tuesday I thought I had punished them but the statistics we got back showed we could go further, so on Wednesday I really hurt them in terms of running.

“We’d love things to change overnight but we have to get back to basics and improve our fitness levels and mental toughness so that we perform for 90 minutes and more.”

Kewell has already encountered Stevenage once this season, during his time at Crawley Town, so has an idea of what to expect from Dino Maamria’s side.

He explained: “They cross the ball as much as possible, they’re solid at the back and don’t take any chances.

“It’ll be a tough game because they’re a hard-working side who have started well but we always need to look after what we do ourselves first.

“There are things that we think Stevenage will do and we’ve made our players aware of that but as a player and as a manager I feel we have to take care of our own responsibilities first.”


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