Rob Edwards Exclusive Blog: Preparations for the Upcoming Season

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Each month we’ll speak to the Watford manager about the latest from the Watford camp as he provides exclusive insights for This month he’s been giving us the lowdown on the preparations for the upcoming season.

On training in extreme temperatures in the UK in recent weeks

It was quite a different challenge, getting training planned and done in those extreme temperatures at the start of the week.

One of the obvious factors that everyone can relate to is energy levels.

You’re naturally feeling lethargic, even when not doing much; and we’re asking players to concentrate and think about their actions. I found it hard and I wasn’t running around at all!

With plenty of expert staff in the building, the players were taken good care of, but it was still bloody hot so we adjusted our training timings accordingly.

Despite that, we did have one get a bit too hot and he was treated accordingly.

We did push them and they responded really well.

On what he’s learnt from his squad so far

I’ve seen a lot of positive change since arriving with Richie and getting going just over a month ago now.

Communication has been key all along. It’s promoted really strong collaboration among the staff, who come from a variety of backgrounds.

And on the pitch with the players, the week away in Austria really strengthened bonds that had already developed.

Five weeks in, there’s still a long way to go but an environment full of mutual respect means we can move forward really confidently as we head into our final week of pre-season.

On the changes he’s faced in the new role

On a personal note, I’m aware it’s difficult to get a balance personally, particularly when the season starts.

The pressure ramps up and it’s harder to switch off, so I’ve been using these past few weeks to get home – which is the Birmingham area for me – as much as possible, to try and switch off and give my family some proper time.

Small things like picking my daughter up from football training or getting out in the garden with my son.

Not being on social media helps massively, because I’m simply not exposed to those thousands of voices when I’ve got enough priorities of my own.

On what he thinks of the new kits

I think the kits this year are smart. The detail in them are great; I think that’s something you don’t see until you have a close look.

I can remember having blue away kits at Wolves over the years and doing okay in those seasons.

Hopefully the colour brings us a bit of luck, as well as being a nod to the club’s history back to the 1930s.

While I don’t know all the detail of what’s planned, I’m aware it’s the centenary for The Vic this season.

That’s a huge thing so it’s pretty special for us to be part of it – and that includes having Elton really kick it off by showing everyone the third kit at the amazing concerts.

On final preparations and the relationship with the fans

We’re nearly there now I know, and I can’t wait. It was great to meet a few of the fans at Wealdstone on Saturday.

We were desperate to play one match in front of our supporters at least, and it worked out really well in terms of a local venue, strong opposition and a good performance.

I hope the lads and I weren’t looking too sweaty and hot in selfies and photos with the fans!

We’ve got to do this together, haven’t we. I know our supporters are the club’s biggest asset, so we want to create a bond with the players and staff, and hopefully we’ll be celebrating our first win of the season with them on Monday night.