Jonny Evans

Evans On Abu Dhabi Sessions & Academy Influx

Jonny Evans described Leicester City’s winter training camp as ‘tough’ but ‘unique’ after completing a second day in the United Arab Emirates’ capital.
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- Leicester City captain Jonny Evans speaks to LCFC TV out in Abu Dhabi
- The Foxes are spending the week in the Emirati capital on a warm weather camp
- City are now on their second day, completing as many sessions after arriving on Sunday

Having touched down on Sunday, City’s maiden session took place on Monday afternoon before the squad were given a heavier workload on Tuesday.

A competitive edge allowed Evans and his team-mates to increase the tempo and time on the training pitch as a return to action edges closer.

“It was tough out there,” he told LCFC TV. “What they tried to do was instead of training twice, get two sessions worth in one, so we found it quite tough, with it being our first tough session back after the break we had.

“We’re in a position that we’ve never been in before, having to train for the first time after having a couple of weeks off in the season, so coming back in during the season feels quite strange.

“Now that we’ve come away, it’s nice warm weather, and it feels a bit like pre-season, so you’re in that mode of trying to get through it. Sometimes, you’re not going to always have the sharpness, but you’re just pushing through the sessions to try and get your fitness going as quickly as possible.”

While seven Foxes remain a short flight away in Qatar for the FIFA World Cup, City will spend the week in Abu Dhabi, working in the heat and humidity of the Persian Gulf.  

Evans was able to spend time with his family after the Premier League’s final match round before the winter break, while some not at the World Cup were still in friendly action before enjoying some downtime of their own.

Evans said: “The manager is great with the scheduling. He gave us a nice schedule well in advance and he gave everyone a two-week break, anyone that wasn’t involved in the World Cup.

“Some lads went and played friendly games, so it was nice to have that break and I think everyone enjoyed the fact that during the season, they got to spend some time with their family. You don’t often get a chance to go away, but I think everyone made the most of it.”

Evans, a season professional, has enjoyed welcoming a group of Academy youngsters into the fold. Outfielders Sammy Braybrooke, Joe Wormleighton, Will Alves, Kasey McAteer, Lewis Brunt have joined goalkeepers Arlo Doherty and Kelechi Chibueze on camp.

Once they all come back, you can re-focus, and before you know it, the matches will be coming thick and fast. It’ll be good to have them back and get going again. It’ll be good to carry on where we left off.”

Jonny Evans LCFC TV

“As a first team player, you love seeing the young lads come up,” said the Northern Ireland international centre-back. “They always bring a freshness and I think most of the players that are here have been away with us on pre-season as well.

“They’ve always impressed, they’re a great bunch of lads and that’s why they’re here. Their attitudes are good, they’re good players and it’s great having them here.”

For Evans, although pleased to gain minutes in the Carabao Cup win over Newport County, he’d naturally have liked the Premier League season to continue. That has only made his hunger for a return to league football even greater.

Discussing his time out, he said: “When you get an injury like that, you feel like you’ve had that period away, and you don’t want it to stop. It was kind of a strange feeling getting fit and it felt like that – getting fit for the one game knowing you’re going to break up for a couple of weeks.


Footage From Day One In UAE

A look at Leicester City's first training session in Abu Dhabi, taking place on Monday afternoon.

“I didn’t play in the [West Ham] game, so it was a strange feeling. It’s not very often that happens, it might happen at the end of the season, but it’s mid-season, so it’s a strange scenario.”

The end goal of City’s warm weather training camp is to ready themselves for the rigours of the league and cup back in England. They will hope to add to a spell of six wins across nine matches in all competitions when the Foxes travel to MK Dons in the Carabao Cup Fourth Round on Tuesday 20 December.

“We didn’t want it to stop, that was maybe the frustrating thing,” he added. “We were on a roll, and having to break up at that time with the momentum that we had… the fact that the World Cup is on and we’re able to support the player is great.

“We watched Dan [Amartey] yesterday. Of course, once they all come back, you can re-focus, and before you know it, the matches will be coming thick and fast. It’ll be good to have them back and get going again. It’ll be good to carry on where we left off.”




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