Tough Pompey training - but not a whisper of complaint

Kal Naismith, left.  Picture: Colin Farmery

Kal Naismith, left. Picture: Colin Farmery

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey face losing Cook

  • Naismith scored four goals in 39 games for Accrington last season
  • Left-sided midfielder played the first half in Pompey’s 1-1 draw against the Hawks
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There has been running along Southsea seafront, more than a few bouts of sparring at a boxing gym, while training has also taken place on the Mountbatten Centre’s 3G pitch.

It has so far been a nomadic and varied pre-season for Pompey.

Earlier in the week we were running along the seafront, which is about opening your lungs and getting endurance. The gaffer got on a bike to motivate us and push us as hard as he could along the way

Kal Naismith

Yet according to Kal Naismith, not one word of complaint has emanated from those hard-pushed players.

With Paul Cook keen to allow the new training pitches more time to bed in, the summer schedule has been rather inventive.

It has been tough, often consisting of three sessions a day, but thankfully for the players that August 8 kick-off is edging ever closer.

In the meantime, it is off to Bognor tonight (7.30pm) for a second pre-season friendly, having yesterday trained on the Nyewood Lane pitch.

On Tuesday the Blues sampled Privett Park – where they will turn out tomorrow (3pm) to complete a busy 24 hours of matches.

Even the six-day team bonding trip to the Algarve was punctuated by regular spells of beach running and sea dips at 8am.

For Naismith, though, the players have fully embraced the punishing schedule.

He said: ‘I don’t know how the team will be rotated over the games tonight and tomorrow.

‘But it is pre-season and all about fitness so if we do have to play in both games then the players will be ready for it.

‘All the boys have shown a great attitude, nobody has complained once.

‘Usually at clubs it happens and I am one of the biggest moaners, especially when you get told “you are doing this wrong”!

‘But nobody has said a word, it has been about getting your head down and improving your fitness.

‘Although we are looking forward to getting the pre-season over and done with and on to the first game!

‘It has been hard. We have worked in different places, there has been boxing, swimming, football, recovery, plenty of things to ensure all the boys are in the best shape they possibly can be.

‘Earlier in the week we were running along the seafront, which is about opening your lungs and getting endurance.

‘The gaffer got on a bike to motivate us and push us as hard as he could along the way.

‘All the lads are at different levels but it is about getting as much as you can out of it.’

Pompey fans had their first glimpse of Naismith during last weekend’s match at the Hawks.

The summer signing operated on the left-hand side of midfield in the first-half of the 1-1 Westleigh Park draw.

He added: ‘I was okay – but I am my own biggest critic.

‘We played 4-4-2 in the first half and I didn’t get on the ball as much as I would have liked but I worked hard.

‘As we play more games it is about building up to the important one, which is the first game against Dagenham & Redbridge.

‘That is the one which means most and you try to prove a point to the gaffer that you deserve to be in that team.’

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