U's training has gone into overdrive

COLCHESTER United's recent 'mini pre-season' will help them in their push for promotion in the second half of the season according to manager Aidy Boothroyd.

Stuart Watson

U's training has gone into overdrive

By Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United's recent 'mini pre-season' will help them in their push for promotion in the second half of the season according to manager Aidy Boothroyd.


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The U's scheduled home game against Carlisle was postponed last Saturday following heavy snowfall on the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

As a result, Colchester have now gone over two weeks without a game - or a real football-based training session - since their 2-1 win at Brighton.

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It's a situation which has affected teams all across the country following the inclement weather, but, while some many will have used it as a welcome chance to recharge the batteries ahead of a hectic festive schedule, Colchester's training has gone into overdrive.

“As I didn't have a pre-season with the players, I have used this break as a mini pre-season,” said Boothroyd, who took over in September.

“We've done some cross-training, we've been working a lot indoors and doing some really different things with the help of the Colchester Garrison and Top Notch.

“I think it will stand us in really good stead come March/April time because it might give us a little fitness edge and help get us over the line.”

And skipper Magnus Okuonghae - who signed for the club after the baulk of Paul Lambert's punishing summer pre-season - has been happy to hit the gym.

The central defender said: “I think the break has helped - it's almost been a blessing in disguise. We've been training hard and getting our fitness levels up for the second half of the season.

“It would have been easy for us to do some light training during the last couple of weeks, like most clubs have probably done, but we didn't want to do that. Now we go into Christmas fully prepared and I think the boys will be really fresh for the New Year.”

Meanwhile, Boothroyd says the recent weather has made him an advocate of a winter break in English football.

He said: “With our weather you're never quite sure what you are going to get so I think a winter break would be a good idea and I would be in favour of it.

“Most teams in Europe do it; we're only talking about two weeks, so I think it would be the sensible thing to do.

“Saying that, we do have a tradition of getting up on Boxing Day in this country, sticking an ice pack on the head after the festivities of the night before, and then going to watch some football.

“I wouldn't want to disrupt those traditions, but part of me thinks common sense should dictate.”

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