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🎥 Post-match reaction: Closing in on 90 minutes

Nigel Pearson was pleased with the energy levels shown by his players as they battled under baking conditions against Portsmouth at the Robins High Performance Centre.

It ended in a six-goal encounter with City recovering from a two-goal deficit by the end of 90 minutes, with goals from Andreas Weimann, Kasey Palmer and Chris Martin.

An extra 30 minutes was played as planned, in which Marlee Francois came on for the visitors to help make up their numbers and the City youngster ended up grabbing the equaliser.

This was a test of stamina and mental strength as much as anything, as well as a chance to get closer to a full 90 minutes for Pearson’s players.

Watch the full interview:

“It’s not designed to be anything other than hard,” said the City manager, as he watched his players compete after a gruelling five-day training camp at Loughborough University.

“Certainly with the conditions it was always going to be a tough exercise but we got out of it what we needed, there are areas to get better at but I think the overall feeling after is that the players recognise they’re able to sustain a high level of fitness throughout in tough conditions.”

MK Dons visit the Robins High Performance Centre for City’s third pre-season fixture on Saturday, live on Robins TV, and Pearson sees it as another opportunity to get closer to 90 minutes in the tank for his squad.

He said: “The two games this week are designed to give as many of the players as close to 90 minutes as possible. If we were going into a week with lower temperatures, we could achieve that without worrying too much. Hopefully by close of play Saturday it will mean the majority of the squad will have had the opportunity to play the entirety of the game.

“That leads us into the final phase of pre-season, with a double-header on Tuesday (City face Exeter at 1pm and Plymouth at 6pm) and that’s where the squad will be split to get the same outcome. I along with the rest of the staff will get to see both games.”

Watch City v MK Dons on Robins TV

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