Time to get down to business, Alex Neil tells his Norwich City squad
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil insists Norwich City's five-day trip to St George's Park is a vital part of their Premier League planning.
The majority of the Canaries' squad have travelled to the national football centre after two days of intensive fitness tests at Colney, and Neil will make the most of the secluded surroundings.
'We wanted to go to a place where your sole focus is on getting yourself in the best possible shape that you can,' he said. 'You go there to train and work hard. We will be together for 24/7 for the next five days, so it's about getting the players in good shape and getting their minds focused.
'It's about spending a bit of time together as well.
'I think it's important – after we won the play-off final, everyone shot off in their own direction to enjoy their summer.
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'It's important we get that unity back together as well. Everyone's in great spirits because of the way we ended last season and the fact that we're in the Premier League looking forward to those games.'
City's international contingent, which includes the likes of Steven Whittaker, Wes Hoolahan and Russell Martin who were on Euro2016 qualifying duty, along with returning loanees Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Kyle Lafferty are scheduled to join up next week as Neil steps up his preparations for the big kick-off against Crystal Palace on August 8. The Scot is relishing his first close-season period at the club.
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'It's something that I'm really looking forward to, bedding in more principles about how we'll function as a group,' he told the club's official site. 'When you come in and work on things mid-season, when you've got games coming up, you don't want to over-train them and give them too much information. To be fair, I thought they grasped it really well last year, and it won't take long for all of that to come back and for them to start adding other layers as well.
'We're going to new levels, we're going to come across challenges we haven't faced before. In those types of scenarios, we've got to know how to deal with them. We'll be doing a lot of work on that.'