Cotterill hopes trip abroad will invigorate Pompey

Steve Cotterill hopes a training camp in Gran Canaria will boost Pompey
Steve Cotterill hopes a training camp in Gran Canaria will boost Pompey
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Refreshed and reinvigorated.

Now Steve Cotterill is hoping his fortified troops can bounce back with victory at QPR tonight.

The Blues spent three nights at a training camp in Gran Canaria last week in a bid to recharge their batteries.

It was a move designed to boost a threadbare squad following the gruelling Christmas and New Year schedule.

Eight games in 31 days ended with an abject home defeat to Burnley.

Yet Cotterill is keeping his fingers crossed the time spent away in the Canary Islands will have benefited his wilting squad for tonight’s clash.

He said: ‘We had a couple of good days of weather, which is a bonus. It has been quite cold back home.

‘The guys have been together, trained together, swam together and ate together.

‘It’s just to try to get a bit of a boost back into them.

‘They’ve had a tough season and it was a bit of an idea to see if we could recharge a few batteries and kick on for the rest of the season.

‘There are not enough of them – there aren’t enough bodies here so you just keep churning out the same players every week.

‘It was a good break to have but would have been so much nicer going away on a victory.

‘You can’t pick and choose when you book these trips, though.

‘I would have given them four days off anyway and they may have gone abroad. They might have travelled all across the country anyway.

‘So we kept them all together. It’s done for all the right reasons.

‘We’ve hardly got any players and it’s the only thing I can do to give them a bit of a fillip and give them a bit of a boost.

‘I would rather have another 10 players or £5m to spend and not take them anywhere and put my feet up all weekend, rather than try to keep everybody else’s chins up.’

The likes of Jamie Ashdown, Ritchie de Laet and Hayden Mullins have all been given a clean bill of health while away. on the Spanish island.

The trio passed fitness tests hours before the Burnley match and featured in the subsequent 2-1 defeat.

Since then, there has been no reaction and all will feature at QPR tonight.

Meanwhile, Aaron Mokoena and Dave Kitson are back from suspension.

And Cotterill admitted he is eager to discover just how beneficial their Canary Islands trip has been.

He added: ‘The players were quite aggressive with each other in training yesterday.

‘I told them we needed to pack that in and be aggressive with our opponents, not so much ourselves.

‘You never know the benefits of the training camp until you see it over time.

‘It’s about what it does for us for the rest of the season.’