Roma Coach Zdenek Zeman has rubbished the suggestion that he is wearing out his Roma players in their pre-season retreat.
The 65-year-old began his second spell with the Giallorossi last week with their first training retreat of the summer based in the town of Riscone in the north of Italy.
Changing the players’ diets by banning cake and coffee and introducing a greater level of vegetables and potatoes, the team’s training regime has brought attention from the media.
However, the suggestion that it is tiring the players due to Zeman’s demanding nature in workouts is something that the former Pescara man has been quick to deny.
“The players have changed their habits, some do more, some less. But there are no problems, we’ll all be fine,” reassured the chain-smoking Coach to Press at the club’s training base.
“You say we are training hard, but for me that is nonsense. To me, they are long strolls in the woods.
“Preparation is essential, it is the basis on which to build a season. We are here to work in ritiro, to prepare for the season, it’s normal to get tired.
“If we had gone to a village in the south of Italy then it would have been different. For now, with the team we are not talking about football, we are working only on the physical aspect, because some players are a bit ‘heavy’.”
There has been a lot of speculation linking the Giallorossi to changes in defence, with Gabriel Heinze and Juan pushed to departures and several replacements paired with the club in their place.
“The point is that the market has started now and ends in two months. There is so much time and opportunity to act. Players at the disposal of Roma and only of Roma are standing here, they are all good and I think that those who come in will not have any trouble settling down.
“I have no problems in defence, I have eight defenders and that’s enough and, further to this, we might try to use the market to improve elsewhere and that’s OK.
“Heinze and Juan? They are Roma players at this time.”
This weekend, Zeman has also discussed objectives for the new season and where he feels Francesco Totti will fit into his set-up.