Niko Kovac: "Good attitude and character!"
Eintracht coach Niko Kovac reviews the first week of the USA training camp.
Niko, one week in the US has passed. What's your verdict?
Niko Kovac: "I have to pay the team a compliment. The way the lads were working in the first pre-season week in Germany and their attitude now is great. They are willing to go to the max in every training session and I was surprised how they put away the long flights and changing time zones. That proves the good character of the team which I am am very happy about."
The training sessions are quite intense.
NK: "We might be on the pitch for two hours within one session, but that does not mean the lads are in action for the whole duration. The net time is less, pretty much like in a match. The players need to come down and re-charge their batteries also; hence the sessions might take more time. We fully monitor the strain though."
How are the new players doing?
NK: "They were integrated really fast. The new players are great guys and they were received well by the ones who were at the club already. Being a strong unit made us competitive in the past and will do so next season also."
Looking at the time in Seattle and Chula Vista, how do you see the conditions for the team here in the U.S.?
NK: "Seattle was somehow unusual for us as we trained and played on astro turf. But the conditions at the Chula Vista training camp were ideal. The pitches were perfect and the nutrition and everything else was good - I am very happy with how it went."
Next stop: San José. What is the plan in the days to come?
NK: "Altogether we have six weeks ahead of the first competitive match. The first two weeks are aiming at intense physical work, the third is for regeneration. We will follow that routine and then up the pressure again during our second training camp in Italy. Now we look forward to the match against the San Jose Earthquakes. After that the lads will have half a day off, we will also visit San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Then we travel on to Columbus for another friendly and back to Frankfurt after that."