Club News

Kemp on Holland and pre-season preparations

Albion face Vitesse Arnhem in FOX Sports Cup opener

ALBION's joint-assistant head coach David Kemp has provided an update on the club's pre-season preparations.

The Baggies have arrived in Holland for a five-day tour which sees them participate in the FOX Sports Cup, facing hosts Vitesse Arnhem this evening (ko 6.30pm/5.30pm UK) and Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven on Saturday (6pm/5pm UK).

It comes after last week's demanding trip to the Austrian Alps, where Albion rounded off the training camp with a narrow 2-1 defeat to French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

The pre-season programme is all geared towards the club's opening Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace in just over three weeks' time.

Kemp on the trip to Holland...
"It's all part of the build-up.
"Austria is a different type of training, that's more fitness although we had a game at the end of it, we've been back in England for a few days, again, progressing the pre-season training.
"And now this is another part of it where we're going to get two quality games in, in a different environment away from what we're used to, which also helps at this time of year as it provides different challenges.
"It's all part of the build-up for what it's all about - and that's Crystal Palace away on August 13."

On differences between Austria and Holland...
"We're starting to work more now on the team and to prepare for that Crystal Palace game, it was mostly all leg work in Austria and now we're spending more time on the training ground working towards getting the team ready.
"We're still working on fitness as well, obviously we've only been back two weeks, and that's what it will be like continuing up until that game against Palace."

On rotating players to get match fitness...
"We're going to get two games in three days here in Holland so hopefully everyone will get playing time tonight and again on Saturday.
"We'll be using the squad and everyone will be getting playing time, obviously the closer we get to the opening league game then we'll be getting closer to the team who will probably start that."

On results or preparation in pre-season friendlies...
"Results don't come into it, obviously when the game starts then you want to win it. I want to make that quite clear.
"If we win, lose or draw these games then it isn't the end of the world. But in a competitive business you always want to win.
"Some teams have had fantastic pre-seasons where they've won seven games out of seven and when the season starts they're hopeless.
"Then vice-versa, some teams have been very poor in pre-season and once the business really's a different mentality and a different level.
"Players are really pushing themselves in these games but there's another gear that comes on board when it starts for real.
"That's not something they do deliberately, it's just the way it is. So I wouldn't read too much into results in pre-season."