Tottenham Hotspur star Matt Doherty has insisted he and his team-mates “love” fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone, despite their infamous training session last week.
He was seen putting the players through a tough session before making them run 42 pitches in 30 degree heat.
In training, several players fell to the floor exhausted, while it was reported that Harry Kane was taken ill.
But instead of hating the man who keeps them in step, Doherty found the Italian to be a favourite.
And seances like the ones we witnessed are not unusual.
“Yes, [they’re] pretty normal. Even the previous week in London was on that plan, so I don’t know if there will be teams that are more prepared than us. It’s unlike anything I’ve done before. This is difficult. This is the hardest preseason I’ve had,” he said.
“You get a lot of satisfaction when the session is over. Your mind was tortured in the middle of it, but when it’s over, you feel proud and you go to bed at night thinking ‘yeah, I worked hard today’.”
He added: “During that you just think not to give up. Even if you crawl across the line or have to run or walk to the end. It’s that determination that the manager has kind of instilled in us to keep going and never give up.”
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“It’s all really love for Gian Piero. It’s funny because we were having this conversation. Normally when you have such a fitness trainer who runs, you will start to dislike him, but this is not the case. We all absolutely love him,” he said.
“We have so much respect for him that we do whatever he tells us.”
Ventrone had previously used a number of humiliating methods to get the best of his charges, but Doherty found the conditioning coach had calmed down over time.
“There is nothing like it [here]. “I think he’s actually calmed down a lot over the last few years,” he said.
“We understand the sentimental side of him! But seriously, it’s incredibly difficult and they know what they’re doing so we trust them.”
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