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The balance of relaxation and work is always a key combination in Sven's preparation for any game, not least a vital Euro Qualifier which is being played a month after the end of the domestic season...click here for the latest news from the camp...
So, after the relaxation of a Sunday night meal at one of the best Italian restaurants in Darlington, it was back down to the nitty-gritty on Monday with another positive training session at the Rockliffe complex.
'Sardis' is a favourite haunt of such connoisseurs of Italian cuisine as Middlesbrough's own Massimo Maccarone. The food certainly went down well with the players as they relaxed in each other's company following the 25-minute coach ride to the restaurant from the team base in Durham.
But there was nothing laid back about the squad during Monday's training session. John Terry's solid early challenge on Matthew Upson set the tone while Wayne Rooney's sliding interceptions showed how keen he is to press his claims for another start following his heroics in England's last Euro Qualifier against Turkey.
After a session of keep-ball (during which two nut-megs on Sammy Lee were warmly greeted by all but the England coach!) it was time for a bit of eleven on eleven.
One of the things that you notice in these sessions that you my not be able to pick out in a match situation is the amount of communication that goes on between the players.
David James is constantly organising his defence, while Danny Mills is always there to tell his fellow defenders who is making the blindside run. And, for a relatively quiet man off the pitch, Steven Gerrard in incredibly vocal in demanding the ball when he can see that a quick break is on.
"Good information" is how Sammy Lee describes this kind of clear communication that is vital if the team is to function as a cohesive unit come match-day.
The session was played in warm sunshine, something that was very much appreciated by Sven and Tord after their plans for a Sunday afternoon walk were rudely interrupted by a hellish downpour yesterday. "It's always like this up here!" grinned a proud Steve McClaren as he looked across his sun-drenched training complex. We'll take his word for that.
It's notable how much everyone is trying in these sessions. It may be well into the summer but the hunger that these players have for Wednesday's game was epitomised by the amount of defensive work that Darius Vassell took on. It may not be the most natural part of his game, but the Villa man chased and harried the ball like a midfield terrier.
These players are ambitious and they know that Wednesday's match against Slovakia is a vital step along the road to Portugal.
One man who won't feature against Slovakia but who will hope to return to the squad in time for Portugal (should we qualify) is Gareth Barry.
The Villa man has done really well during his first taste of life under Sven. But, with David Platt's men themselves having a crucial game on Tuesday night, Sven took the decision that it was in all parties' interests for Gareth to play a full game for the Under-21s rather than sit on the bench for the full side.
Sven explained his thinking to Gareth on the way back from training and Gareth understood the reasoning behind the decision. He shook everyone's hands before heading off to add his considerable talent and experience to Platt's protégés ahead of the big game.
If the Under-21s can take all three points at the Stadium of Light, they will have set an example that the Senior team will do their very best to emulate.
From Daniel Freedman at the England team base in Redworth Hall, Durham.
England v Slovakia: Match Centre