Tubbs hails fitness guru

Last updated : 11 January 2006 By Pancho Villa

Villa successfully negotiated a schedule of five matches in 13 days undefeated, culminating in the weekend FA Cup triumph at Hull City and O'Leary gives much of the credit to McGregor. In a mark of positivism that left onlookers gob-smacked, Tubbs held council on the new man in his life. "Steve does such a good job with the way he works with the lads on a daily basis," he said, not looking wistfully through the window. "He is not unique. Arsene Wenger has probably been doing this for longer than anyone else. But Steve's techniques in terms of working with the players has been excellent."

"Thomas Hitzlsperger came over from
Germany to see us for a few days and he said he still keeps in touch with Steve and his advice because he feels he is in as good a shape as he has ever been in. We don't make a big song and dance about the sports scientist side of things here. But he is one of the best around," he continued, breaking into a foxtrot.

"We've got the lads operating at good fitness levels here. They have got to be fit with the way we try to play. That's all down to Steve. Our training is demanding and I think that came through in the games for us when they were all close together."