Home / Football / Gordon Strachan turns down glamour trips to rack up hard work

Gordon Strachan turns down glamour trips to rack up hard work

NO GLAMOUR FOR ME Gordon Strachan says travelling to strange foreign countries won t help himNO GLAMOUR FOR ME: Gordon Strachan says travelling to strange foreign countries won’t help him [ROSS TURPIE]

The international boss will spurn a long-haul trip in May – America and Australia had been mooted as possibilities – so he can have a few high-intensity days with his players closer to home.

And he will also make plans to ensure the squad is mentally as well as physically attuned to the task that lies ahead through a Euro campaign that will stretch from September this year through to possibly the play-offs in November 2015.

The details of that campaign will become a lot clearer by 3.30pm today, by which time the tournament qualifying draw will have been made at 11am and the fixture dates decided thereafter.

For the first time the 54 countries will not spend time bickering among themselves to sort out the running order of the nine sections – eight groups of six and one of five – with a computer fixing the schedule instead.

Strachan is cool with that aspect and is far more interested in the football side of the arrangements.

And he dismissed the prospect of taking his players thousands of miles at the end of a long, hard season.

He said: “We can travel around the world and play in strange foreign countries against top sides in strange conditions, but is that really going to help our European build-up? No.

We can travel around the world and play in strange foreign countries against top sides in strange conditions, but is that really going to help our European build-up? No

Gordon Strachan

“So we’ll stay closer to home and make it short and sharp. It will be for three or four days and we’ll work really hard over that period.

“That’s better than going away for 10 days and getting planes here and there and be flying for 18 hours and then be tired when you arrive.

“The most important thing for us will be the hours spent on the training field.

“I don’t want to be saying we’ll necessarily be training hard – but we’ll need to be thinking hard.

“It won’t be too physical, it will be more about our shape as a team and understanding where you need to be on the pitch.

“Every player needs to know where to be when we are attacking and defending.

“That’s the way we’ll use up our hours on the training field and through that I hope we have skilful players who can win games for us.

“It would be perfect if I could have an expanded squad for that end of season get-together.

“And before that the game against Poland next week is important. We’ll sit and talk to the players and show them videos.

“One of the reasons we took Poland away is that we know the game will definitely go ahead as they have the roof over the stadium.”

The constant bugbear for Strachan, and every other international manager, is the lack of time they have with their players.

So he wants to make every minute count while at other times he will exercise his mind over other matters such as the captaincy, the choice of goalkeeper and keeping a decent number of players all happy even if they’re not on the plane to Warsaw.

“We have a few captains in the squad so it’s decision time,” he acknowledged as he considered the return of Darren Fletcher alongside recent skipper Scott Brown.

“But it makes it more like being a club manager and we have two or three we could make the captain.”

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Gordon Strachan turns down glamour trips to rack up hard work

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