Wed, Jul 31, 2013 - Page 18 News List

PREMIER LEAGUE: English teams count cost of Asian tours

ANGRY:Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas was in open revolt after seeing Jan Vertonghen pick up an ankle injury playing on a Hong Kong Stadium surface branded ‘a killer pitch’

AFP, HONG KONG

Moyes said he was delighted “to see a couple of the young boys doing well, Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj, who I didn’t know as much about, and Wilfried Zaha, who has only just joined, has shown what he’s capable of.”

“So I think they will go away from the trip feeling they’ve come here and contributed to it,” he said.

Moyes’ Arsenal counterpart, Arsene Wenger, whose side embarked on a two-week tour that took in Vietnam, Japan and Indonesia — where temperatures nudged above 32oC — also admitted four games in 13 days had taken their toll.

“We are well advanced in our preparation,” Wenger said. “It depends now on how quickly we’ll recover from that trip because it was very difficult. It will take a few days to recover from that.”

England striker Jermain Defoe, who hit a hat-trick in the romp over South China, was another to admit that playing on the other side of the world in the fierce summer heat and humidity had been draining.

“A lot of the boys have been really tired to be honest, as you can imagine with the time difference and training twice a day, but it’s a long season and you need to get fit,” Defoe said. “It’s not a holiday, at the end of the day. We’ve had six or seven weeks to have our holidays and that, and now it’s time to work.”

Liverpool were also in town, playing friendlies in Indonesia, Australia and Thailand that racked up a total of seven goals, but thankfully for manager Brendan Rodgers there were no significant injury worries.

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