IT HAS been an interesting week for us with a training camp away at Gibraltar Barracks in Surrey.

It was something we set up a while ago and I went to visit at the start of August to check what the facilities were like and the activities we might benefit from.

I was really impressed by the welcome I received – the staff and commanding officers were fantastic.

We wanted to be able to train as usual, but also add in elements of leadership and team bonding.

Many of you will have seen pictures of the players testing themselves on the shooting range.

It was a lot of fun, but in actual fact there was much more to the week than that.

The shooting came after a morning when we had trained well, had a very productive meeting and then were able to have dinner together and keep strengthening the bonds between us.

The other two days were just as good and I’d like to thank everyone at the base for their help.

I would also like to thank the players, who really bought into the idea and have been very good at adapting and trying new things whenever we have changed the routine.

I believe it will pay off in the long term because it is a long season and you need the whole group to be a strong unit.

However, the real focus all week has been on winning against Walsall this afternoon.

We know we were not at our best against Blackpool last weekend, but there is an honesty from the players who want to put that right at the earliest opportunity.

It hurts to lose as a manager but one game – one half really because we were better in the second – should not disguise what has been a very encouraging start to the season.

Every team does their homework, but I hope Walsall watched the start of that last game.

Because I can tell you now that we will not put in that sort of performance again.

We have been very good at home especially and, after such a positive week, we will definitely be looking to come out firing this afternoon.

ONE other thing that this week has given me is a small insight into the life that the soldiers live at the barracks.

I already had the utmost respect for them, but working alongside them for three days really allowed me to see what they do up close.

A big part of football involves discipline and teamwork.

But all of our efforts are focused on winning matches, while there is far more at stake in the work that the soldiers do.

I know that the club is planning its annual military day when we play Rotherham United on October 21 and we look forward to repaying the hospitality we were shown this week.

I hope as many fans as possible come along to join us for what I am sure will be a fantastic occasion.