Bristol City are striving to be fitter than ever and to gain that extra strength that will guard against knocks this season, after an injury hit 2020/21.
Graphs from the Robins High Performance shown publicly in a club video this week illustrate how the squad has improved from pre-season to now, and is also developing extra strength in their hamstrings.
And the club’s medical team say that the players are stronger than last year, which will help as they look to compete across the gruelling Championship fixture programme.
The West Country outfit suffered horrendously from injuries over the last 12 months and manager Nigel Pearson has stated that he wants a fitter and more robust set of players to compete in the English second tier this campaign.
“The ones that you’ll see on here [from the walls at the HPC, see image below], these are generic graphs that we’ve looked at where were we in pre-season and where are we now,” said head of medical performance Dave Rennie on several data visualisations released by the club this week.
“And every single one of the graphs, whether it’s to do with hamstring-related strength, which is something we said we had to improve upon from last year to protect us and reduce our relative risk of hamstrings, we’ve seen huge changes in the squad’s profile for their relative strength.
“We know that the stronger a tissue is, the harder it is to break down,” explained Rennie.
Some Bristol City fans had jokingly referred to the High Performance Centre as the Hamstring [injury] Probability Centre at one point, given last season’s travails.
But this year is much different and the Robins have found good form in the league, with no team taking more league points on the road than Pearson’s.
No doubt the improved fitness is a big reason for the improvement in results, with players visibly pressing for longer in matches.
City supporters are appreciating a team that gives maximum effort to the final seconds of matches, something the manager has been only too keen to develop.
“We’re really pleased. The lads have done really well,” Rennie told the official club channels on the physical effort put in by Bristol City to date.
“We started off back in pre-season at the start of July trying to establish a number of things that Nigel really wanted: in terms of his creation of an identity for his team.
“He wanted a high-energy, high pressing team that would allow us to compete in any game for 96 minutes. And to a large extent we’ve achieved that,” he added, saying that this division and the one above is all about ‘strength and power’ with the aim to build ‘explosive athletes’.
This content was originally published here.