Assistant first team coach Rui Faria has spoken with the official website to discuss the pre-season training programme, and reports positively from America…
How pleased are you with the progress the squad has made so far in pre-season?
It is not just me, all the coaching staff and the people around the team are very pleased with the work. The players are being focused and working fantastically hard. We’ve already done good training sessions since we started on July 8, so in this moment we are progressing and the players are committed to their work and doing very well.
Most players have completed every session also, which must be very satisfying?
It’s fantastic. In fact, the ones who couldn’t complete some sessions, it is because it would be impossible, so we are satisfied with the work and the way the players are committed.
How have you found the facilities both in Asia and America? Has it been a challenge to adapt?
We can say sometimes they are not perfect, but everyone makes an effort to help us and meet our objectives. The players are being very good and understand the conditions, so there is no problem.
When you are used to having the best conditions like at Cobham, you sometimes need to adapt and the squad has done so very well.
How much has the pre-season programme evolved since the first time you were at the club?
There is always evolution. We don’t stop, the idea is to keep working in the direction of our objectives as coaches. The manager has his ideas and we have our philosophy of work, so we always improve the way we realise those ideas and there have been big changes from the past, always respecting the philosophy, which didn’t change, but some of the tools we use do change.
The philosophy is basically the specificity of the model of play, so that exercises we find suit the ideas of the manager, the way he wants to play, to defend, to attack, with the ball, without the ball. The way we get exercises to explore those situations is always changing and we are always improving.
Do you see this as the most important part of the season?
Before, people used to speak like that. Now, the best thing is to get the players the best we can in terms of their performance, not just the fitness side but the level of play. What we are chasing is to get them adapted to the ideas of the manager, and at the same time physically adapted to the demands of the way we want to play.
How far in advance are sessions planned, and how easy are they to adapt?
They are planned a lot of days before but we also know the plan can be changed when we need. We come to pre-season with the programme organised but each day you need to make some changes according to specific needs.
How much are you enjoying life back at Chelsea?
It’s fantastic. It’s a home, and it seems like we never left. It has been a very good experience after being in Italy and Spain. It is just like coming home.