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McCALL REVEALS CHRISTMAS PLANS

22 December 2016

It is one of the big talking points among managers at this time of year - do you bring your players in to train on Christmas Day?

With a match the very next day - Boxing Day - the temptation is there but do you risk lowering morale by taking the group away from their family and friends on such a special day for maybe only an hour or so of training?

Speaking ahead of City's bumper Boxing Day encounter with league leaders Scunthorpe United at the Northern Commercials Stadium, City boss Stuart McCall has revealed that he won't be bringing in his players for training this Sunday.

Experience as a player and a manager over this period in the past has shown McCall that there is never any guarantee of a positive result by making the group train on Christmas Day.

And with nine days between the Scunthorpe encounter and City's previous fixture at Walsall last Saturday, McCall feels that his side will still have plenty of time to prepare for the visit of the league leaders without the need to come in on the 25th.

McCall said: "I think the last time I was in on Christmas Day was as a player at Everton.

"I've been in on Christmas Day and lost on Boxing Day, and I've been off on Christmas Day and won on Boxing Day, so there is no set rules or guidelines as to what is right or wrong.

"Our lads will be off on Christmas Day. 

"Asking our lads, some of them at least, to travel 30-40 miles on Christmas Day morning just for a hour or two's work would probably mean the cons out-weighing the pros.

"Me and Kenny (Black) were at a game recently sat with a number of other League One managers and I believe it was 5 to 1 in favour of not bringing their players in on Christmas Day.

"Before we go into the Boxing Day game, it will be nine days since the Walsall match so this week will give us enough opportunity to get our work done.

"Rest assured, we will be organised and we will have plenty of good training on Friday and Saturday (Christmas Eve).

"Come Boxing Day, the job is then to go out there and really perform."

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