New boy Graeme Shinnie finding his feet with Derby County in Florida

Graeme Shinnie in training in Florida. Photo: Derby County FC
Graeme Shinnie in training in Florida. Photo: Derby County FC

New signing Graeme Shinnie says Derby County's pre-season training camp in Florida is giving him the perfect opportunity to gel with his team-mates.

The summer acquisition from Aberdeen travelled to the USA with the rest of the squad last week and has been combining getting to know his new team-mates with learning as much as possible from new head coach Phillip Cocu.

And the Scot says it's been a worthwhile experience.

He told RamsTV: "I had the first few days at the training ground but I think the best thing for me was to come away here and spend a lot of time getting to know the boys.

“It’s helped me settle in because they are a great bunch of boys and I’m feeling part of it now.

“The boys always make an effort to make you feel part of the group and the more time you spend with them then the closer you get.

“I’m finding it easier to find my feet and that is all credit to the boys.”

Shinnie says that training under Cocu has so far been enjoyable as he and his team-mates learn how the Dutchman plans to approach games tactically.

He said: "The new manager has come in and has his own style that he likes to play.

“I wasn’t here last year so I’m not fully aware of how Frank Lampard and his staff worked but when a new manager comes in you always spend the first few days trying to get to know him and get to know how he wants to play.

“The boys have certainly done that. Training has been really enjoyable and it’s good for the future.

“It’s all sort of ball work with what he wants to do. It’s very technical. He wants to have us passing it, keeping the ball and retaining it but with penetration as well in going forward.

“It’s not just about having the ball to have possession so we’re still getting to know him and getting to know his ways, but we are getting there slowly but surely.”

Derby will play against Sarasota Metropolis in their first game of the summer at their IMG Academy training base on Wednesday at 7pm local time, before then facing Bristol City at the same venue on Saturday at 6pm local time.

Shinnie added: "We have done a lot of running and building up the fitness that way but the match sharpness and even the small games in training is where you get that little bit of sharpness that we need.

“In pre-season the players are always looking for that first game because it’s the first bit that gets the running out of the way and you hope that there is no more running in it.

“The games are more important in terms of getting your touch back, your feel for the game, your positioning on the pitch so I’m looking forward to it.”