ALL IN THE DETAIL

Assistant first team coach Steve Holland has explained some of the methodology behind the early training sessions we have seen on our pre-season tour of Asia.

It is the first time Holland, pictured left, has worked with Jose Mourinho, having stepped up from being the club's reserve team manager under Andre Villas-Boas, since working with both Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez, and he has been impressed with the new regime.

'The detail in the sessions is second to none, that is for sure,' said the 43-year-old. 'There is a lot of thinking about who plays with who in each element of training, so that players are developing relationships, for example full-backs who will play with wingers, and centre-backs who will play together, so it's challenging but it's very logical and takes small parts of a normal game.

'Everything is match-based and you can see where exercises have been extracted from an 11 v 11 game into a session for a period of time, and then transferred back into a normal match situation. The trick is in the detail, and Jose has tried to touch on every aspect of the game.'

It is all geared to ensuring we have the best possible start in the Barclays Premier League against Hull City on August 18.

'In Asia, it is very much a case of getting through as many basic principles of play as possible, so that everyone has a grasp of what is wanted, and in America that will go on a level,' Holland explained. 'Six young players will depart and six very senior players from the Confederations Cup will join, and the whole thing will move up a gear. It is then a question of fine-tuning so that when we get back we are into the last week before the Hull game and we will be where we want to be to win that match.'

It is, he believes, so far so good, 10 days into the tour.

'The most important thing at this stage is for the 25 players to be coming out the other end with everybody having completed the training programme, with a good basis from pre-season that will stand them in good stead for the rest of the campaign,' Holland said.

'So far we have done very well with that. Frank Lampard missed a couple of days because his Achilles is pinching a little bit, and Josh McEachran has had a little tightness in his groin and wasn't available for the last game.

'Ashley Cole missed a little on Friday because he blocked a cross and it opened up his ankle ligaments but he will train and be available for Sunday. Ramires didn't train on Friday night but that was because he played a little longer than most on Wednesday in Bangkok. He will be available for the weekend, so we have no major injuries and everybody is getting two sessions a day under their belt and you can see the improvement on a day to day basis.

'There is a freshness that is noticeable all around,' he continued. 'We've recruited Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel and Mark Schwarzer, but also many recruited in the last two or three years that have been at other clubs and now returned. That brings a freshness about the group, and the young players have done well.

'We forget how high this standard is, this is not just coming into a group of players that are among the best in the country, they are among the best in Europe, and to flourish in that environment is very difficult. But they have done well and nobody has looked out of place. They've had an opportunity and so far they have grasped it.'

Tickets are still available for Sunday's match in Kuala Lumpur at the Shah Alam Stadium