Fletcher assesses Albion’s Austrian training camp

Skipper braced for tough week

DARREN Fletcher expects the workload in Austria to be just as demanding as it was 12 months ago, but insists the players will be better prepared to tackle the challenges this time around.

The Baggies squad have returned to the Alpine resort of Irdning for a gruelling week-long pre-season training camp where they will be hit with three sessions every day.

Fletcher and his team-mates face 5.30am wake-up calls followed by a series of hill runs or cycles, a strength and conditioning workout before lunch as well as an evening training session to conclude.

After experiencing an identical schedule last July, Albion’s skipper says the players will steer clear of underestimating the week ahead.

“We know it’s going to be tough,” said Fletcher.

“The ones who were here last year have come prepared for it.

“You have to get yourself mentally right for this week.

“The manager’s ideas are about strengthening your fitness in the early stages of pre-season so all the players have to buy into that and it gives us a good base for when we go into the speed and agility work.

“It’s always good to know what you are going into.

“If you are going into the unknown then you can scare yourself or even underestimate the workload.

“It’s a very difficult week, it’s mentally challenging because we are up very early in the morning and we have to keep digging in to get to the top of those hills.

“It’s not going to be easier, but it’s better to be prepared for it.

“To have all the lads together will be good and we all be looking to build our core fitness which we hope will guide us through the season.”