Tampa Tour gallery: Intense training has been a key part of City's form - Rhodes
PUBLISHED: 20:49 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:10 23 November 2018
Preparations for two long away trips in the space of four days are well under way for Norwich City, with some intense training sessions during this week's warm weather break in Florida.
The desire and focus was clear to see as the Canaries trained at the Al Lang Stadium, the home of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, during a session open to the public.
That intensity has been a key part of the recent success for Daniel Farke’s team, according to striker Jordan Rhodes, who scored the vital late equaliser during Saturday’s epic 4-3 victory over Millwall at Carrow Road which sealed a ninth win in 11 league games.
“There were a few lively challenges and, you know what, it’s been like that the last two or three weeks – and that can only spell good news,” said Rhodes.
“The players who are not in the team are trying their best to stay on top of it to try and get a place in the team, and I’m sure the ones that are in the team appreciate the hard efforts of those who aren’t.
“You need that edge in training, you need to have that competitive spirit, so yeah, it was firey to say the least!”
The Sheffield Wednesday loanee took his tally to eight goals in 19 games for the season so far during that Millwall battle, which left the Canaries top of the table during the international break.
That status is set to be challenged by the longest trip of the season, to Swansea, next Saturday, before another away game at Hull three days later.
“It is strange how, with the fixture list, you can have two weeks off for the internationals and then all of a sudden have three games in seven days,” Rhodes continued. “That’s what the training is for our here, to make sure we’re ticking over and doing it properly.
“We’re right at it because Swansea and Hull will be two tough games and we’ve got to make sure that we’re right at it. We’re doing alright at the moment but you can soon find yourselves not doing alright.
“So it’s important to take it one game at a time and keep working, see where that takes us.”
That challenging double-header has ensured Farke’s squad have kept their foot on their pedal during training session in amid the Tampa Bay heat, even if Thursday’s open session featured some very English drizzle to cool the players down.
The trip has also allowed the players to spend some time together relaxing and having some fun, to solidify the team spirit which has seen them surprise many by leading the Championship after 17 games.
That also included visiting the other Tampa Bay sports franchises, NHL ice hockey team the Lightning, American football’s 2002 NFL Super Bowl winners the Buccaneers, MLB baseball club the Rays.
“It’s been really good,” Rhodes added ahead of City flying home today. “The boys have really enjoyed taking in the American culture and have been to a few places, it all adds to the team spirit and the closeness we already have.
“It’s nice to spend a bit of time together and take it all in.”
Rhodes added: “I didn’t go for the beach, me and Grant (Hanley) went for a nice romantic game of golf!”