Portsmouth boss reveals pathway into his plans for Leeds United Championship curtain-raiser

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John Mousinho revealed there are members of Pompey’s squad who’ve caught his eye with their impressive pre-season returns.

But the Blues boss expects the warm-up games beginning next week to be most telling when it comes to players forcing their way into his Championship plans.

Pompey’s gruelling pre-season training camp is continuing in Croatia, with players facing an intense schedule built around fitness and tactical concepts.

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Running and double sessions have been the order of the day with temperatures soaring on the Istrian peninsula near to Pula.

Mousinho has indicated players will all be given the chance to catch the eye in pre-season, before decisions are made on their immediate futures.

And the head coach stated there are members of the 25-man squad who are certainly take their opportunity to make a mark.

Mousinho said: ‘There’s a few who’ve come back in really good shape and that’s the most important thing early on.

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‘When we had those Thursday and Friday physical testing sessions, one way to stand out straightaway was to show the coaching staff you’d done a bit over the summer and mean business coming into the season.

‘Then when the football kicks in we’re looking at sessions live and watching sessions back to see who the best performers are.

‘Then ultimately the chances will properly come in the games. That’s when it’s the real bread and butter for players.

‘We want the players to perform well in training, but the games we’ve got coming up next week and subsequent games against league sides going into the season is what really counts for these players.’

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The pattern of Pompey’s training week has seen them carry out a 5km run along the Adriatic Coast at 7am, before an intense two-hour session with running, drills and games all on the agenda.

Gym or tactical work has then been the focus in the afternoon with temperatures at their hottest.

Mousinho added: ‘I think we’re in a good place. There’s still a lot of work to do and the bulk of the work we’re doing at the moment is still conditioning.

‘That includes when we’ve got the balls out, but we’re in a really good spot and we’re starting to introduce some tactical concepts to the boys which have landed well. So we’re really happy with where we’re at.’

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