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Clement: Lessons learned from tour

The squad arrived back from the States today as they move another step closer to the big Premier League kick-off, and Clement declared the tour a success.

He said: “I’ve learnt a lot more about my players. Spending ten days, 24-7 with them, I’ve learnt some things about them I didn’t know.

“I learned a lot about our team; what we need to work on and also about individual players.

“That’s what pre-season is all about. It’s about learning; it’s about finding what we have to work on; where we need to strengthen so that when we start against Southampton on August 12 we will be ready.

“When we came away we had multiple objectives. One was to get the team conditioned so they would be ready in three weeks’ time. The second was to develop some tactical ideas by playing different formations and players in different positions. And finally to integrate the new signings into the team.’’

Having arrived at the club in January with the team rock bottom of the Premier League, the pressure was relentless as Clement performed the Great Escape.

“It’s a very different situation to when I came in last January,’’ confirmed Clement.

“We played Crystal Palace on my first day at the club, while three days later there was another fixture. There was no time to get to know the players, so this trip has proved a very valuable period for me.

“It’s nice to go away in that environment where the pressure is lower. There’s not so much emphasis on winning games, but developing and moving in a way that gets us fit and ready for the start of the season.

“We also came here because we knew there were good facilities and we would be playing against teams that are fit and conditioned.

“When you come to this part of the world you know it’s going to be hot and humid, so that’s no excuse. But we had a good time there. The sessions have been hard and the games competitive. We will certainly benefit from it.’’

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