Ray Wilkins explains how Aston Villa have spent first week of pre-season

Aston Villa have started their pre-season training in Portugal.

Speaking to the official Aston Villa website, Ray Wilkins has outlined what the Birmingham-based club have been hoping to achieve in the first week of 2015/16 pre-season.

The assistant coach said: “We are working extremely hard with the lads. The focus is getting the miles in the legs for the first week. That's what we have been attempting to do. The fitness levels will improve, the performance levels will improve and so will the confidence. Hopefully we will start the season in much better fashion.”

The former Chelsea assistant moved to Villa earlier this month as Tim Sherwood’s number two, and has been working on the basics during the early weeks of his reign.

The fitness levels of the Villa players are undoubtedly one of the most important things to work on at the beginning of pre-season.

After weeks off on holiday, Sherwood and Wilkins need to ensure the playing squad are at their peak fitness levels before they return to competitive action at the beginning of August.

Sherwood showed last season that he wants to play a highly energetic system, involving frequent running and pressing, and high fitness levels are required for any team to cope with this style of football.

Wilkins has admitted that the first week of training has been spent getting the players down to hard work, and ensuring they get miles under their belt, before the work with the ball will start in the coming weeks.

Villa have a defining season ahead of them, with the need to start pushing forward after years of struggles in the Premier League, and it is good to see Sherwood and Wilkins are prioritising the correct steps ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.

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