We Go Again!

Manager smile pre-season one

Ian Evatt will ‘re-set’ his players to go again as he welcomed them back to pre-season training, writes Pete Oliver.

Evatt’s men reported back to their Lostock training base this morning (Thursday) for a series of fitness tests and assessments prior to flying to Portugal tomorrow for a week-long training camp.

The full squad – including Wanderers’ international contingent – returned from their summer break upbeat and in good spirits, along with new signings Chris Forino and Luke Southwood.

All are raring to go in a fresh start which Evatt will launch with a collective pick-me-up after the disappointment of losing in last season’s play-off final to be ready to hit the ground running when the Whites’ League One campaign kicks off at Leyton Orient on 10th August.

Pre-season running

“It's my job now as the leader of this football club - alongside Sharon - to lift everybody,” said the Wanderers’ boss, who has added Stephen Crainey to his coaching staff following a summer structual review in conjunction with chairman Sharon Brittan. 

“I don't really want to talk about the end of last season too much, but we know that the players are going to need lifting and re-setting and the fans are going to need lifting and re-setting as well.

“It's our job to enable that to happen and that starts when the players return to train. We can build that momentum through pre-season and hopefully come the first game of this season everyone is refreshed, ready and all pulling in the same direction.”

Wanderers just missed out on promotion last season after finishing third in the table and then losing to Oxford United on a tough day at Wembley.

Pre-season Rico bike

The mantra this season will be one of hard work and humility as the Whites get their heads down and go about their business in a bid to continue the progress they have made in three seasons in League One.

Evatt will continue to strengthen his squad and implement changes where necessary in a bid to keep moving forward, with pre-season an important part of the planning in terms of personnel and preparation.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves and face difficult opposition to get the most out of our learning,” added Evatt, whose side will play three Championship teams and top-flight Italian opposition in Fiorentina during their pre-season schedule.

“Pre-season is a time for grass-time, development-time and coaching-time and to look at what works and what doesn't work.

“We've got some clear ideas and plans about how we want to take this forward and that's the important thing now. We know we have to improve and we're going to work very hard to try and make that happen.”

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