Bailey in 'light' workout as Boyz turn up intensity in trainingSaturday, July 24, 2021
DALLAS, United States — For a second day running, Reggae Boyz midfielder Leon Bailey did not train with his teammates but instead engaged in 'light' workout sessions.
At training periods on Thursday and yesterday at University of Dallas complex, the Bayer Leverkusen star worked out with team physiotherapist and was also seen receiving attention from the masseur.
It could not be ascertained why Bailey has not participated in the group's tactical training sessions, and information regarding the reason was not immediately forthcoming from inside the camp.
The 23-year-old Bailey, who remains on the radar of a number of English clubs, did not play in Jamaica's 0-1 loss to Costa Rica in the Concacaf Gold Cup on Tuesday night, raising concerns among football watchers.
But Bailey started in Jamaica's Group C victories over Suriname (2-0) and Guadeloupe (2-1) at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.
With the Boyz scheduled for their final training session today, it remains to be seen if the exciting Bundesliga winger would take full part or even figure in Jamaica's quarter-final match against the USA at AT&T Stadium in Arlington tomorrow.
Bailey last took part in full training with the team last Monday at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in preparation for the Costa Rica game.
The former Genk standout enjoyed his best run last season so far for Leverkusen, scoring 15 goals and 11 assists in 40 appearances. Bailey's efforts helped the Bundesliga side qualify for the Europa League.
Meanwhile, preparation for Sunday's mega clash with the USA moved into high gear yesterday with an “intensity” session at University of Dallas.
There was a clear display of competitive spirit in the session, as players jostled for spots in the starting line-up.
“We have to drive the intensity because we don't want it to be long and drawn out, because then you start fatiguing people.
“We want to drive the intensity to make sure the players are together and working hard toward the same goal,” said Assistant Coach Paul Hall.
“The players are all vying for positions, which drives the intensity…I like to work with players who are intense but we don't want to keep them long, but [only] to ensure that when they are working, they are working,” he added.
The English-born Hall, who recently joined the coaching ranks of the Boyz, noted that the intense nature of the training sessions creates a foundation to improve on crucial aspects of the team's play.
“If we want to make a marginal gain out of ourselves, then intensity is one of those gains as well. Other things like keeping the ball, finishing, defending all [go] into the same pot,” he noted.
Hall, a France 98 World Cup veteran, says training is vital as what is rehearsed should be transferred into match situations.
“You really have to address the things you want to address in the training sessions, and then look forward to it.
“I believe that if it's in a training session and it's not going to be in a match, then it's a waste of time; and you can't have any wastage in your training so you need to get these players to practise what they will come up against in the match or what they will be required to do in the match,” Hall reasoned.
Over the past couple of games the Boyz had to come to grips with criticism in relation to their lack of conviction in front of goal. Along with other aspects of their overall delivery, training sessions have been focused on clinical finishing.
But Hall says while it's important to practise sharpening the blade in and around the opponents' box, he is encouraged that the team is able to create chances, and a lot of them in some cases.
“If we were not getting into those [goalscoring] positions, this would be a crisis…but we are getting into those positions, and it's just the final touch that we are not getting.
“It's now about taking it back to the lab and fixing it, and we have been doing that as we have been giving the players more and more finishing to do, and we will continue to do that,” Hall said
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