Bristol City boss shares Sam Bell recovery milestone and reveals MK Dons method ahead of Leicester City test

The Robins winger has been fulfilling some analytical duties while sidelined
Sam Bell's hamstring surgery was a successSam Bell's hamstring surgery was a success
Sam Bell's hamstring surgery was a success

Liam Manning says Sam Bell's hamstring surgery was a success and that he's now off of crutches as his recovery continues.

Bell pulled up with a hamstring problem in City's 1-0 defeat to Queen's Park Rangers last month, and it was later revealed that the 21-year-old would miss the rest of the season.

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The winger is progressing well and revealed a task that was set to keep him engaged over the international break.

"He’s had his surgery which went well, and he’s off his crutches now as well so he's terrific," Manning said.

"We actually gave him an activity to do before the international break, he brought his laptop in and we put a Leicester game on and sent him home to do the analysis, then he came in and presented to me and James Krause, the coach analyst."

Manning has spoken on plenty of occasions in the past on how big an emphasis he puts on video analysis and off-the-pitch preparation.

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Getting players to study the process themselves adds to further understanding and appreciation of the importance of it.

He continued: "We sat with him and he did a full-on analysis of Leicester, broke down how they set up, what they do, trends, strengths, weaknesses and presented it back to us. I think in terms of where he’s at, learning the game and studying the game is important.

"It’s funny talking to him because he had a real appreciation of how many hours it takes to put together a 15-minute meeting for the team, we tend to show the lads eight or 10 clips but it's actually about 15 hours to get those clips to identify the trends and narrow it down to pick the best ones of how we want to play.

"In terms of how you watch the game and when you're analysing the game, I think when you become a coach it’s hard to watch the game for enjoyment anymore, you’re constantly trying to know where space, where they set up, how do you do this, do that, I think it was good for him to have a taste of it."

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While it may seem a technique more traditionally used with more senior players who eventually plan to move into management, Manning believes there are several benefits to younger players experiencing it.

The ex-MK Dons boss also said it's a method he's often used with players to keep them involved with their teammates in some capacity when injured.

"I think if you can get players thinking like coaches and thinking about why they do certain things it helps when they step on the pitch," he added.

"I think we're trying to fast-track that, especially when players are injured there’s a danger that you can just leave them in the treatment room, so having them around it and still learning is important.

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"I’ve done it before where players have done that and then presented to the team. We’ll always go through it and run it through me first, but we've done it before at MK with Bradley Johnson.

"He analysed the game and then stood up and presented which, until you’ve done it, standing in front of faces that stare back at you with very little emotion, it's quite a daunting thing. We haven’t got Belly to do that yet, but maybe one in the future."

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