“Easy training, tough game”
A few minutes after the end of the training session, with his satisfaction for the players’ efforts written all over his face, Ivan Leko walked back to PAOK’s hotel during the preseason and summed up the coaching staff’s motto: “If the training is easy, the match will be tough –because one plays as they train”.
PAOK trainings are not easy. On Tuesday morning, players worked in high intensity and ran a lot, always with the ball at their feet. They engaged in possession and ball circulation games in order to learn to play quickly, a vital characteristic of Igor Tudor’s playing philosophy. Taking the initiative with constant switches of play, tempo control and fast passing game.
By the end of the session, players were handed over to Paolo Artico for running with intervals. The Italian gymnast works intensely on the players’ physical condition and their strengthening, working with them for many hours both on the pitch and in the gym. He helps them cover their weak points and muscular unbalance with special programs and a generous exercise list.
Maarten Martens remained in the hotel for physiotherapy, Sotiris Papagiannopoulos returned to normal training and Dimitris Konstantinidis continued his recuperation program. As for Răzvan Raț, he is expected to train in lower intensity in upcoming days as he has recently recovered from a groin injury.