Don't Expect an Easy Life, Kenny; Bursaspor Team-Mate Svensson Says Miller Will Have to Work Harder Than Ever

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), January 30, 2011 | Go to article overview

Don't Expect an Easy Life, Kenny; Bursaspor Team-Mate Svensson Says Miller Will Have to Work Harder Than Ever


Byline: Fraser Mackie

FOR those still aghast at the idea of Kenny Miller pocketing that eyewatering [pounds sterling]50,000-a-week salary, there is a crumb of comfort. Scotland's No 1 striker will actually be expected to work a little bit harder than at any stage of his career for those colossal wages -- and that reality will already have dawned on him after one week with the regime at Bursaspor.

That was the news from Gustav Svensson, Miller's sole northern European colleague at the Turkish champions, who has been helping the former Rangers striker settle into his new environment.

Scots abroad have a dubious history of adapting to their foreign football world but, on this occasion, the weekly income thrown at Miller should serve to soften the blow of any integration difficulties and surely encourage the 31-year-old to stay for the duration of his bumper contract until 2013. S

Svensson, a highly-regarded 23-year-old Swedish international, did not quite have the earning power nor the career experience of Miller when he arrived on his own last summer from IFK Gothenburg to begin life in the city of Bursa.

However, Svensson's guide to the shock factors of moving from Scandinavia to Turkey have already registered with Miller on what is, in professional more than personal terms, a departure from what the pair have regarded as normal football life.

Miller was not accustomed to spending his entire day at Murray Park while a Rangers player but Bursaspor stars are expected to work, play, eat and rest at their facility, where there are bedrooms, lecture theatres and swimming pools to go with the customary training-ground installations.

'The demands on football players and the training under Turkish coaches is much tougher compared to Sweden and, I guess, probably Scotland,' reported Svensson.

'The training lasts much longer and it's harder. We might be training at four o'clock in the afternoon but we must be there for noon or one o'clock. I wasn't prepared for that.

'I think, like me, Kenny is used to shorter days and maybe not being in for training all day like it is here. In the days leading up to matches, we have to be "in camp" for the day. From what I've heard, this is the mentality of Turkish managers in the league and all the people accept it. Unless you have a foreign coach, you stay "in camp" for the day.

'I didn't expect this and Kenny didn't either, but you learn from it and accept it. I think he will take time to get used to it.

'For example, on Fridays we are watching film and we have a lot of meetings of how we are supposed to play and how the opponents are expected to play. If we have a game further away, then we can do it the day before we travel.'

Ertugrul Saglam's approach paid off with the Turkish championship last season but his desire to drill players into knowing precisely what they must do on the park does not appear to extend away from the complex.

Svensson explains that he and his colleagues are regularly kept guessing as to when they might have free time, if any.

Svensson said: 'As I speak now, I know we are training at three o'clock but the coach does not make us aware of the time in advance -- we only know the day before. We have to guess.

'And if you try to take it up with the coach, he says that we are professional football players, we get paid well for playing football, so you have to like the situation and get on with it. …

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