Tuesday Dec 01, 2020  
  17/07/2012: Auronzo di Cadore: Day Nine
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Training took a different shape today as Vladimir Petkovic sought to imprint his philosophy on the beautiful game into his squad. He initally devided the boys into three separate groups and conducted an exercise where the aim was to win possession. Later, he created two groups and began to work with a group made up entirely with defensive-minded players or in other words, Cristian Ledesma, Lorik Cana and all the Lazio defenders that are present. He illustrated what he expected of them, how to correct various mistakes that may occur in the duration of a game. He also stressed that the defenders should play the ball short and under no circumstances should they be looking to play it long. The others were sent to the gym during this period and after a while, they were called out as the defensive group went to put in their shift.

With the attackers, Petkovic emphasised the need to make sacrifices and stressed the importance of working the channels and the importance of making these manouevres rather than looking for the obvious cross. It was in this session that Ederson picked up an injury when going for the ball with his compatriot Hernanes. The verdict - Ederson is to be rested completely for five days. His knee is badly bruised but the initial diagnosis shows that his ligament has received some degree of damage. The club hope that he will recover fully in five days and that a scan will reveal that the ligament damage is healed, otherwise Ederson is out for a fortnight at least.

In the evening, Petkovic fielded 7-a-side teams with no real formation or shape to the sides. The aim was to work on distributing the ball quickly - there were quite a few goals and the games were played at a relentless pace. After the games, the players loosened up their muscles and that was training over for another day. As Petkovic promised, week 2 is proving to be all about tactical ideas. There were no tactical experiments in relation to formation or system today but the players are having to learn Petkovic's style in addition to working on their fitness levels.

(Cathal Mullan)
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