Paul Warne talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Rotherham United boss Paul Warne believes his current group of players have exceeded the fitness levels shown in the early stages of the Austrian tour this time last year, whilst adding that the trio of new summer signings have settled into the group well.
Early morning hill runs have once again been on the agenda for the Millers players and staff, with multiple training sessions following throughout the day at the club’s training base in Lindabrunn.
With fitness proving to be a key component in the Millers’ success last year, Warne has been pleased to see the current crop of players excelling in that department as the training camp reaches the midway point.
“We ran early in the morning when we got here and it was further than the distance we ran on the first day we came last time,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“The group are running a quicker pace and there's nobody out the back, like there possibly was last year so that's good.
“The three new lads have settled in really well and have a great training ethic. I think they're enjoying the different environment."
Despite the hard work, Warne’s side were unable to overcome Austrian opposition in their opening game abroad against SKU Amstetten but the Millers boss is confident of an improved performance when they play their second and final friendly of the training camp on Saturday.
“They've been doing 11 v 11 on the training pitch and we're trying to get as much into them as we can,” he added.
“It's not about results, it's about getting them all match ready for when the season starts in three and a half weeks’ time but it's quite a long process.
“They did a triple session on Monday and had a meeting about what we're going to do. I appreciate they were hugely fatigued on Tuesday but that's no excuse, they'll have to play with fatigue.”
“We'll get every sinew of effort and ability out of them and we'll look forward to the game on Saturday and hopefully we'll get a more positive result and a sharper performance.
“It's hard obviously, but every club at this time of year is putting it's players through the ringer and we're definitely no different.”
The 2017/18 Millers side were repeatedly praised by their manager for the close-knit bond in the dressing room, with many of the foundations for those friendships laid in Austria last year and Warne will be hoping for a similarly tight group this season.
“The lads are bonding, which is what I want,” he explained.
“They watched the footy together on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Most of the lads were here last year and we've got good people and good human beings again.”