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Slaven Bilic: West Brom isolation training was exceptional

Head coach Slaven Bilic says he’s been left pleasantly surprised by how hard Albion’s players worked while they trained in isolation at home.

Slaven Bilic
Slaven Bilic

The Baggies squad will report to their Walsall training base today where they will be able to train in groups of four or five while social distancing for the first time.

Prior to that, they had to train on their own to tailored programmes produced by the coaching team. But while Bilic always expected his players to follow the schedules they were given, even he has been left surprised at just how hard they worked.

“They have been great – we expected that to be fair, that is why we gave them those kinds of programmes,” the Croatian said.

“But every one of one them surprised me to be fair in a positive way.

“I knew they had a big motivation and they were going to be very professional and good. But they have not been good they have been exceptional. They have been superb.”

The EFL has issued guidelines on how all clubs should return to training – with Albion today entering phase one.

It means there can be no physical contact between the players. But while that is not ideal, Bilic says every clubs is in the same boat.

“We are not in an ideal situation but I think we are in the best position we can be if we take into account all the circumstances,” the head coach added.

“They all stuck to their individual programmes and they did them even better than we expected.

“Last week we were back at the training ground but they continued doing their individual fitness sessions. They came in groups of three but we respected all the rules.

“Now we are going to start in groups of five without contact.

“We are in a position that we can only do basic things.

“But considering their fitness at the moment, it can’t be any better.

“It is a different type of fitness because there is no contact. And it’s impossible to replicate that while training with social distancing measures.

“It’s not ideal but it’s not ideal for any team.

“Considering everything we are very pleased and we have done very well.”

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