Kemp insists Stoke can handle busy preseason schedule

Stoke City No2 Dave Kemp insists they can handle an overseas preseason tour.

Their hectic schedule follows last season's costly Europa League journeys when Stoke frequently surrendered points in subsequent Premier League fixtures.

But assistant boss Kemp defended the amount of travelling by arguing in The Sentinel: "This schedule is completely different to what went on last season.

"We are in pre-season now and building up to the season itself, not having to play Premier League games in between the travelling like we had to last season.

"We've taken the decision to go to different places this pre-season because we have been going to Austria for many years and, as brilliant as it is out there, it can become a bit routine for those players who've been several times before.

"Going to new places this year adds a bit of edge and a bit of the unexpected because the players won't be sure what's coming next.

"Travelling and being away will also help with bonding so that a new player like Jamie Ness can get to know a lot about us, and us about him."

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