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ALEX NEIL: FIVE KEY TALKING POINTS

15 July 2016

City's manager on...

... how pre-season is progressing
"We want to face a high calibre of opposition in good, competitive matches, and to hopefully not pick up any injuries. They’re the things you always want from pre-season.

"It’s gone well so far, but we want to make sure we get good, challenging games in.

"You’re pushing the players to the limit, without breaking them down. Everyone’s got their own threshold, but Nick Davies and the sports science guys are fantastic and the boys have come back in really good shape.



"Last time we took 26 players on tour, so it will be somewhere in the region between 26 and 28. I’ve got a first team squad at the moment who have done everything with us, and they’ll be coming to Austria.

"The lads who were at the Euros, I’ve given an extended break. To be honest, for them it’s not about fitness; their season extended way beyond what we did, so it’s more about rest. They will join us in Austria."

... improving his squad for the new campaign
"We will be doing business before the window ends, there’s no question about that.

"I’m not going to specify what positions we’re looking for, but we’ve got a lot of irons in a lot of fires. Hopefully something will happen quite soon.

"There are key areas where we need to strengthen, and they are the areas that I’m completely focused on. If I’ve got two players in one position, I’m not looking to add a third."

... transfer speculation concerning his own players
"It’s important that we send a message out that we’re not going to be losing our best players; our best players are going to be staying here.

"Nathan (Redmond) was an exception to the rule, everyone is always going to have their price at any club but we won’t be letting people walk out of the door for less than what we value them at.

"The bottom line is, we don’t need to do anything. We’re in the control of the situation, they’re our players and they have all approached pre-season really well."



... Sergi Canos
"I think it’s a good bit of business from us. We sold Nathan who was a young, exciting player, but we’ve replaced him with another one. Sergi's got all his best years ahead of him.

"He got a good return last year, and he had that experience at Brentford which is great. He comes from really good stock, in terms of starting at Barcelona and being at Liverpool.

"He’s dynamic, direct, he’s got goals and he can play wide and inside the line. He’s really flexible, which will help us with our fluid movement at the top end of the pitch.

"We’ve got young, exciting players who can beat a man and hopefully that will excite the fans because it certainly excites us as a coaching staff."



... this weekend's friendly at Peterborough United
"What we want to do is give everybody 60 minutes. We want to do it in stages – they got 45 minutes against Walsall, and then we’ve got an hour for them tomorrow.

"It makes sure they’re all at the same level, and it gives them all the best opportunity to get their fitness levels high.

"Timm Klose and Alex Tettey are completely fine. They’ve come through everything we’ve done so far, and they will feature against Peterborough.

"Jonny Howson’s got a virus at the moment, but it’s nothing serious. It will be a couple of days."

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