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Claudio glad to be back

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Claudio Reyna was happy to start his first game of pre-season after returning from injury.

The Blues' American midfielder last saw action in the USA v Ghana World Cup match in June, and to add to the disappointment of his country's exit Claudio left the field just before half-time with a medial ligament injury.

There were no signs of any discomfort as Claudio started last Saturday's friendly against Bradford, and he marked the occasion with the game's only goal after just seven minutes.

"It was nice to get the 45 minutes under my belt, the most important thing is the fitness and as I only started last Monday it was good to play," says Claudio.

"The first couple of days back in training were tiring and I was a bit sore, but it has not been too bad. It's normal to feel like that for the first few days but we will go to China and get a few more games in. It's important to work now for the fitness because it's a long season."

Stuart Pearce tried a 4-5-1 formation at Valley Parade, with new signing Bernardo Corradi playing up front, and Claudio was happy to use the friendly to test out a system new to this City squad.

"It was something new, and that's what pre-season is all about, to try out new systems and players in different positions. We might try this system, especially away from home this season, so it's the best time to try it when there's less pressure and there is time to work on things like this."

The 33-year-old will now, along with the rest of the squad, turn his attentions to City's two match trip to China, new territory even for someone as well traveled as the former USA skipper.

"I've never played in China, I have played in Hong Kong before it became part of China again. I'm excited about the trip, it's a long way to go but the best thing will be the opponents. We can get some good games in, the conditions will be good for our fitness, it will be a physical work-out playing in the heat over there and it will help us for the beginning of the season."

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Match Report

Bradford City v City 29-07-2006

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