City peaking at right time, says Gunn

PUBLISHED: 07:30 08 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:24 10 September 2010

Chris Lakey

Bryan Gunn believes his players are ready to peak at just the right time. The City boss timed the pre-season programme to perfection, with the challenges getting harder each match and Crystal Palace and Wigan stylishly despatched in the final two games.

Bryan Gunn believes his players are ready to peak at just the right time.

The City boss timed the pre-season programme to perfection, with the challenges getting harder each match and Crystal Palace and Wigan stylishly despatched in the final two games.

“I think they are just right,” he said. “I think the whole pre-season programme has been designed around getting as many players at peak fitness for August 8.

“I do have a couple who probably are a little behind the others, but over the course of the next two weeks, hopefully we will be able to catch up through training, maybe some in-house games, just to catch up with the same amount of game time the majority of our players have had.

“In terms of where we are it's a great place to be considering I think this time last season there were a number of first choice players in the treatment room, which Glenn (Roeder) couldn't utilise for the first game.

“I think we are in a situation where we want to be, but at the same time there will be occasions throughout the season where we know there will be injuries, there will be suspensions, but now we have a squad where we feel we can bring people in and out and not de-strengthen the starting line-up.”

Gunn was due to tell his players before training yesterday who was in and who was out for today's season-opener - but admits his mind had been just about made up some time ago.

“It was fairly difficult, but I think from the play and the standard of play, fitness levels and everything throughout pre-season I have probably had a team in my mind for quite a while that would be a starting XI,” he said.

“There are many others who have been really close to being in that XI as well after their performances throughout pre-season, so it is a nice position to be in, certainly in the start to the League One campaign.

“I have probably got three or four people who would possibly be in the starting line-up who are not even in the 18, so there is an embarrassment of fit players at the moment.”

For now, the line-up is a guessing game.

“I'm sure that (Colchester manager) Paul Lambert would like to know what the team is, just like I would like to know his,” Gunn added.

“He will be guessing, exactly the same way I am guessing what his is going to be so we can combat each other in different ways, but I certainly won't be divulging the team.

“The team will know, the squad will know and we hope they will be professional enough to keep that private to themselves.”

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