Sunderland boss Lee Johnson explains why Scotland training camp was chosen
Sunderland are to step up their preparations for the new League One campaign with a short training camp in Scotland.
Ahead of Saturday’s friendly against Hearts at Tynecastle Park, Lee Johnson today took his squad north of the border to continue their preparations.
New signing Alex Pritchard is part of the travelling squad, Sunderland have only made one senior signing so far this summer with fans eager for another breakthrough.
Johnson’s preference is to go abroad for a training camp during pre-season but given the ongoing uncertainties and travel restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a trip to Scotland has instead been arranged.
Johnson explained: “It gives us an opportunity to have five or six days of intense work.
“Some are ahead of others in terms of their fitness, but we have to strike that balance between peaking them as early as possible and not injuring them.
“We thought about going abroad and I always like to because fan-wise, it gives the supporters an opportunity to come with us and get up-close and personal through things like open training session.
“Next year we will be doing that, but given the fact that countries are currently going from amber to green – and back again – it felt risky for all of us, including fans, to have to come back and quarantine
“Overall, we felt this was the best option, and I’m also delighted with the Hearts game because I was there as a player and it is a fantastic club.”