The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)
BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR DONS T
McInnes keeping Reds players fit by giving them a routine during lock down
hese are unprecedented times for everyone, but Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is trying to keep it business as usual as best he can.
Today is the start of the UK-wide shutdown’s second week, but Scottish football is a couple of weeks ahead.
For now Cormack Park is, to all intents and purposes, closed, and as with so many facets of everyday life no one knows for how long.
But the Dons boss, who is known for his diligence, is ensuring his squad do not idle during their enforced time away.
He said: “We have been in regular contact with the players but it is difficult because players train for a purpose and the whole uncertainty around the virus and how it is going to affect the world – never mind just football – it makes it difficult for the players.
“From a general fitness point of view, it is important that the players go out and keep doing their bit individually.
“We have set them up on a programme, we want them to train at 10.30 in the morning so there is still that routine for them. We have set up a platform where we can oversee all the work that they have been doing, the feedback comes back to me and our staff on our laptops.
“Even on a technical side, we have been looking at ways that we can analyse the players’ performance throughout the season, and we have started to pick up on that and give them feedback over the next week or so.
“There are still things we can do to keep them engaged in football and it is important that we are ready for when we are back playing football.
“It seems as though it is going to be a long while to go. However, the general fitness of the players is still very important.
“We are still putting out work for them to adhere to. We can see through their monitors exactly what they have been doing.
“The players are very diligent anyway, we have worked with them for a long time. I think it has been enjoyable for them to stay active and to stick to the programmes we have been giving them.
“Hopefully, whenever we get together again and we are able to train as a group, we can pick up where we left off and we will be ready for some meaningful games.”
Cormack Park may be closed for now but the club’s training ground has still managed to provide a valuable fitness tool – for some at least.
McInnes said: “I know a lot of the lads have their own kit at home and we have had the luxury of Cormack Park and the facilities there but we don’t have enough bikes for everybody so the ones who were sharpest got to the bikes first.
“Working on a bike is a great way of maintaining fitness.
“We are obviously limited to one bit of exercise outside a day and the players are sticking to that. They are trying to find a space in isolation where they can go and do their runs.
“They have got their gym programmes, they have all got their own weights, foam rollers and matts at their houses.
“They use whatever