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Gaz: When Saturday comes

6 September 2013

Gareth Ainsworth says the Blues have a monitoring system in place to ensure his players are in “tip-top” condition for games.

The 40-year-old is happy to adapt training schedules to suit the team or individuals, especially when the Wanderers are in the middle of a busy period.
After beating Exeter City 2-0 in the JPT on Tuesday, Ainsworth’s men face two further long trips to Hartlepool United and Plymouth Argyle on consecutive Saturdays.

He said: “We don’t have the budgets of other clubs, but we have heart-rate monitors, check hydration levels and use our own eyes.

“Myself, Theo (Farley) and the staff keep a close eye on the boys. If someone’s not ready to train, they won’t train.

“It’s really important players are tip-top for games. Everyone’s different. Just because someone gets the day off, it doesn’t mean he’s getting it easy. Maybe he needed a break because he worked so hard the other night and got home late.

“The lads understand that and that’s the main thing. Some will be in, some will be off, some will train, some won’t, but on Saturday they’ll all be at that top level. We’re proud of it and we’re pleased with how it’s gone so far.

“There’s been no soft-tissue injuries, they’ve been all impact injuries. The lads will be ready for Saturday and we’ll need to be.”

Despite being second-bottom of Sky Bet League 2, Hartlepool beat Bradford City 5-0 in the JPT in midweek and Ainsworth says they are a team who should be respected.

He said: “Don’t underestimate Hartlepool, they were League 1 last year. Wycombe Wanderers were bottom of the league last season and we turned a few heads.

“I’ll be making sure we put a good performance in and hopefully get the right result.”

He added: “Colin Cooper’s a winner. I’ve played against him and I know what he’s about. He’ll have his team organised and working hard.”

Ainsworth admits he has some tough decisions when it comes to naming his starting XI.

He said: “I’ve got a couple of selection dilemmas. Stuart Lewis has come back fantastic this season. The red card put a stop on what he was doing, but he’s back and he’s flying. I was well pleased with how he played on Tuesday.

“Matt McClure opened his account at Exeter, that’s good for us. I’m sure they’ll be a few more deposits in that account this season! He’s a goalscorer and he showed that on Tuesday. The finish was classic Matt McClure.”

He concluded: “Matty, Stevey and Dean Morgan will be amongst the goals this season. With JP and Jo Kuffour not far behind, we are spoilt for choice up front. They’ve all scored too so hopefully they crack on!”
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