‘Right to work’ – Jones on the importance of training camp in Portugal

‘Right to work’ – Jones on the importance of training camp in Portugal

WANDERERS can set the tone for a successful season by making the most of a coaching camp in Portugal, says Gethin Jones.

The Bolt the vice-skipper flew out with the rest of Ian Evatt’s squad for a week of intense, tactical fitness work in the Algarve.

Although there will be no games played during the trip, Jones believes the work being done on the plush green training grounds by the Atlantic could be vitally important to the club’s chances of coming out of League 1.

“You know where we want to be at the end of this season and that doesn’t come without hard work,” he said. Bolton News. “That’s why it was important to be together for this first week, really, to come together as a team, to eat on the right foot, to get straight to the point. Company really.

“We talked a lot on the group chat and I know the guys are really looking forward to it. We can’t wait to get started.

Evatt and his coaching staff developed a reputation as a relentless leader in the pre-season, seeking to bring his team to the level of fitness required to play his style of football.

Jones – who has lived through the manager’s two previous summer schedules – insists there will be a team bonding element to the week, the focus will be on hard work.

“The team spirit here at Bolton is second to none, and I’ve said that many times,” he said. “Everyone knows what I think of the club and the way it has been run.

“We like to train, we like to come to work. But I probably won’t be kidding when I’m there this week. It will be difficult, but that’s the job.

“You don’t get a good pre-season and it can catch up with you. There are guys in the team who maybe didn’t have that at other clubs last year and they will want to make it right.

“If we do that, I think we can continue this season.”

The club have yet to confirm whether Northern Ireland international Conor Bradley will join the squad this week as his impending loan from Liverpool has yet to be approved.

Summer signing Jack Iredale is part of the squad, but James Trafford has been given a week off following his recent return from international duty with the England Under-21s.

Meanwhile, reports suggest wanderers are pushing for an answer from former Preston North End winger Tom Barkhuizen, who has been on the club’s shortlist all summer.

The 28-year-old appeared to be heading towards League One rivals Derby County but problems with their takeover may have ruined his chances.

Evatt made a similar move with Jack Tucker last week after the move went on too long – with the defender opting to stay south with MK Dons.

Follow all of our Wanderers coverage from Portugal – including exclusive interviews, diary columns, videos and photos by subscribing to The Bolton News HERE.

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Richard V. Johnson