Late Fitness Test podcast | Episode Five

In Episode Five of the ‘Late Fitness Test’ podcast, we welcome former Manchester United and Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Roy Carroll to the show. The veteran stopper discusses his time in Greece and how his return to England – the weather and the style of play at Notts County – contributed to an increase in back and groin injuries. He gives us a players’ perspective of the game and an insight into the mental toughness required when working towards a return to training and playing. Roy provides an update on his recovery from reconstructive (ACL) knee surgery and tells us more about his RC 1 Coaching programme for aspiring young goalkeepers. Also, we discuss:

  • Warm-ups – Following on from Pedro’s withdrawal prior to kick-off at Norwich City (GW3) due to a hamstring problem. Why players are injured pre-match. Johnny talks us through GPS data and how increased anxiety levels cause “huge chemical changes in the body” and why some players struggle to manage the emotions of game day.
  • Until the final whistle – Everyone remembers ‘Fergie Time’. Norwich also had a knack of scoring late during their promotion campaign. Is it luck? Conditioning? Or are there other influencing factors which come into play – mental fatigue, switching off and poor decision making — mental capacity and the players’ ability to cope with the scenarios in front of you.
  • Are we giving players enough ownership? – Are we asking them enough questions? Are we putting enough out there for them to mentally make a decision? “For me, that’s probably the biggest excuse why they lost on Saturday because we didn’t ask enough questions. These guys are not going to be great decision makers because we haven’t put the problems out there.”
  • Rotation – Carabao Cup – Players can decide on these types of games; it’s not always entirely down to the manager. Blood emerging talent…. Resting players for psychological or physiological reasons – this is not their priority – there are other environmental factors which they are fulfilling.
  • Strategising – Integrating and involving a player returning from a long-term injury. We discuss Winston Reid and his imminent comeback after more than 18 months on the sidelines. 
  • Bournemouth and knee injuries…. Troy Deeney…. and why surgery is not the be-all and end-all…… Danny Welbeck on his return. Johnny’s “delight” at seeing the former Arsenal attacker starting his first game for Watford.
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