Town are currently out in Portugal as they step up their preparations ahead of the 2017/18 Sky Bet League Two campaign. Ben Purkiss, one of nine new arrivals at The County Ground so far this summer, will be keeping supporters up-to-date with events in Portugal over the next few days. In Part Two of his exclusive #TownOnTour Diary, the vastly experienced right-back gives his thoughts on today’s behind-closed-doors friendly against Bristol Rovers.
We played Bristol Rovers earlier today and we played three thirty minute periods, with the game finishing 0-0.
It was a good exercise and the conditions were the same for both teams but what wasn’t the same was the programme that we’ve been doing.
Rovers had a rest day yesterday whereas we probably had our most intense session yesterday morning, so the lads were going into the game tired.
But, out of the two sides, I thought we looked stronger and there was probably a step up from the games we’ve played on home soil.
What you will see now I think is people gaining an understanding of everyone else’s strengths, how to play as a team, how to play as a unit and a little bit more focus on the attention to detail.
We did a set-piece session the other day which was technical based and there was a press-up routine in there for little errors or if anyone missed their man.
It was a little bit of a punishment but the aim of it was to maintain fitness alongside the technical side, so there is a bit more attention to detail now.
Hopefully you will see that build now and the whole idea is to make sure we’re ready for Carlisle.
The game today was a great exercise and I thought the lads did particularly well, considering the amount of work we had drilled into us over the past couple of days.
After the game we had a bit of free time but I spent most of it on the bed, including whilst I was writing this entry!
There is a driving range here and a pool as well but I think everyone is really tired and there is always that next session.
Some of the lads went to the driving range earlier and there is a little pitch and putt as well, so it is a good way for the boys to bond and we can talk about things other than football.
It is really good for the group to have a bit of downtime and also mix in-between the villas because, although we are in different apartments, they are all in the same block so it is a good opportunity to get to know people a little bit better and just relax mentally as much as physically.