It’s been a great start
NEW manager Garry Monk has made a positive impression on the Boro players according to George Friend, who believes this week’s training camp in Portugal will further unite the squad.
The first team players and coaching staff flew to the Algarve from LeedsBradford Airport on Saturday ahead of seven days of warm weather training and two friendly games.
Boro faced Oxford, in Albufeira, yesterday and will play Chesterfield, in Vila Real De Santo Antonio, on Saturday at 6.30pm.
Friend is a veteran of four pre-season trips with Middlesbrough.
His first was in Portugal in 2013, 12 months after he joined the club from Doncaster in a cut-price £100,000 transfer
That was followed by three visits to Marbella, in Spain, under Aitor Karanka’s leadership.
However, Friend insists the location of the camp isn’t important, it’s more about the players being together under one roof George Friend for an extended period of time.
“It’s a change of scenery and an important part of pre-season,” he told mfc. co.uk.
“You room with someone, you eat your meals together, and you’re in and out of each other’s pockets for a week really.
“It doesn’t have to be somewhere like Portugal. When I was at Exeter we would go down to Cornwall. It’s about being together and working hard as a group.”
Monk has only been with Boro for a month and has only had a matter of days to get to know his players since preseason training got under way. However, the early signs are positive.
“This manager has his own philosophy, we work hard but his sessions are really organised and put over exactly how he wants us to play,” said Friend.
“I think that’s important, to implement it so early. The lads have been encouraged by it and hopefully the coaching staff have been encouraged by the way we’ve performed and the effort we’ve put in.”