It’s been a great start

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - CELEBRITY WELLBEING -

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.

“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.”

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