Blogs & Opinion


Leicester City's pre-season preparation progressing well, says Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips - Kevin Phillips Posted 1st August 2014 view comments

From Austria to Bangkok via Ilkeston, our pre-season at Leicester has seen us rack up some miles but also plenty of good preparation for our return to the Premier League.

Austria has become a really popular place for football teams to go now; the facilities are good, the weather is nice and there are plenty of local teams available to take on.

Although I saw Crystal Palace hammer an Austrian side about 13-1, during our week out there we stuck to the training pitch to continue our fitness work. It was great to get away with the lads and spend some good, quality time together early on in pre-season so the new players could settle in and get to know their team-mates.

Our second trip away also went well - although it was a bit of a strange one. We travelled to Thailand to play Everton in the national stadium out there but decided to stay on English time, so we wouldn’t suffer with jet lag on the way back.

Test: Leicester travelled to Thailand to take on Everton as part of their pre-season preparations

Test: Leicester travelled to Thailand to take on Everton as part of their pre-season preparations

It worked well because returning to England the players were still fresh, despite the long flight. It did mean we were doing two training sessions a day in the dark in Thailand though, with our second one finishing at about 1am local time!

We’ve got Everton at home in the first game of the Premier League season and it was good to win a testing match against them in Bangkok, although they were missing five or six first-team regulars. When you’re winning games, it breeds confidence and having won all three pre-season matches so far, the lads are full of confidence.

David Nugent in particular is enjoying himself - he scored a great goal against Walsall the other night, bending the ball in with the outside of his foot, and scored an even better one against Everton which was wrongly disallowed.

All of our forwards are excited and fired up in training at the moment and as the strikers’ coach, that’s great news for me. I’ve been able to have quite a few sessions with them to get my messages across and it’s all looking good.

Record signing

The club’s record signing Leonardo Ulloa has also come in and seems excited about what’s ahead. Obviously his £8million transfer from Brighton is a big-money move for him and coming to a Premier League club is a big opportunity. But his goals record at Brighton was excellent and from what I’ve seen so far, I’m convinced he can make the step up. His finishing has been excellent and he’s a nice guy, too, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he gets on.

The Premier League is going to be a big step up for the whole squad, though, and Everton spending £28m on Romelu Lukaku is an example of what we’re coming up against. We’re not in the league where we can splash out £20m or so on a player - maybe we could, but our manager wouldn’t do that - and clearly Everton are in front of us in those terms.

But although they had some big names missing, we showed when we played against them that we’re more than capable of giving any team in the Premier League a good game.

Everton will be a tough opening fixture for us but we’re the home team, it’s our first game in the Premier League and it will be an electric atmosphere at the King Power Stadium and you’d like to think the players will respond to that, give it everything they’ve got and who knows, maybe we’ll catch a few teams off guard this year.

We’ve got four more friendlies to go, we’re progressing well and everyone’s looking forward to the big kick-off now. 

Post to your View!

Be the first to post a comment on this story

Add Comment*

Send us your views

Are you a Sky Sports subscriber?

*All fields required, your email address will be kept private

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Gary Neville

Nev: Ron return 'more possible'

Gary Neville has responded to the rumours that Manchester United could bring back Cristiano Ronaldo....

Graeme Souness

Souness: Gunner win the group

Graeme Souness says Arsenal will in their group and have potential to go far in Europe this season....

Latest News RSS feeds

Ronaldo return ‘in place’

Everything is in place for Cristiano Ronaldo to make a dream return to Manchester United, says Guillem Balague.

Gerrard eyes European progress

Steven Gerrard insists Liverpool are not there to just make up the numbers in this season’s UEFA Champions League.

Sky Sports Today

All the build-up to the return of the Champions League plus reaction to Monday Night Football in our live blog

Live transfer updates

Eden Hazard tipped for big money Chelsea deal plus latest on speculation linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a Manchester United return.

Defensive worries for Arsenal

Arsenal are facing a defensive crisis ahead of their Champions League opener against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

Features

Champions League Goal Zone: See goals as they go in on Soccer Special

Champions League Goal Zone: See goals as they go in on Soccer Special

The Champions League is back and you can keep up with all the action in our brand-new Goal Zone on Sky Sports News HQ.

Same old story for Liverpool?

Same old story for Liverpool?

It is five years since the famous Champions League music was heard blaring out of the Anfield sound-system.

Champions League: Shinji Kagawa is back where he belongs playing for Borussia Dortmund and Jurgen Klopp

Champions League: Shinji Kagawa is back where he belongs playing for Borussia Dortmund and Jurgen Klopp

“The best moment was the ‘Shinji Kagawa’ chant during the warm-up. It hasn’t been that loud for a long time.” Jurgen Klopp isn’t one to mask his excitement. Shinji Kagawa is back in more ways than one.