Petr Cech has given an update on pre-season from a goalkeeper’s perspective, and is looking for more action when we take on a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur today (Sunday).
The 31-year-old has been reunited with Jose Mourinho this summer but continues to work closely with existing goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon, who has been at the club since Mourinho’s departure in 2007. The pair have built up a close bond having also worked together in France at Rennes, so Cech knew there was a lot of hard work ahead.
‘We use our time the maximum way we can to get fit, and you don’t do that only by catching balls,’ said the Czech. ‘If you can do it in a way that is more interesting than just running, it is better, so it is good to work on your speed and reactions. It is hard work, working in the goal, resting, running, and it is very intense but it works well overall – but the most enjoyable part is when you finish and you know you survived.’
So far the hard work in training has not been replicated in competitive match action. Cech’s 45-minute appearance against the Singha All-Stars will be one of the quieter days in his career. He hopes for a more testing time at the Shah Alam Stadium tonight.
‘If you play in the first game of pre-season you would rather have something to do, because it’s harder to keep your concentration, especially when it is hot and you are tired,’ he explained. ‘If you have things to do in the game where you’re permanently in action, it is easier, but you can’t choose this.
‘If the team plays well and you are well organised and have little or nothing to do, then you have to say, “Okay, job done”, but for the first games you prefer to have a little more to do, so we will see what happens on Sunday.’
Also possibly involved is new recruit Mark Schwarzer, who is acclimatising well to being a Chelsea player. He did not feature on Wednesday having been considered not to have trained long enough after joining up with the group on Tuesday.
‘Mark is a very experienced and intelligent goalkeeper,’ said Cech of his new team-mate. ‘He has been working on training routines that are new to him, so we’ve been explaining a bit about them and why we do them.
‘When you play for such a long time there are certain habits you have and sometimes you don’t change, but little things can still improve, so we’ve talked about these things and explained the way we work.’