LUKE Rooney says that fitness is the key to his and Town’s pre-season preparations.
Speaking after Town’s 3-0 win at Salisbury on Friday evening, the winger explained that while pre-season wins are always a positive thing, building up fitness and endurance for the season ahead is at the forefront of his mind.
He said: “Pre-season is not about winning as much, it’s about getting fitter and improving your match sharpness but you always want to win and certainly the manager wants to win so it’s nice to win in pre-season.
“I’m pleased with the way I feel. A couple of my performances have been really good and at the same time I haven’t been pleased with a couple of performances but I think for me pre-season was all about getting through it and getting fitter. I’m certainly fitter! It did take a bit of getting used to and I think my legs are still catching up a little bit but I do feel much fitter in terms of endurance. My legs are probably a little behind and after having a word with Claudio (Donatelli) hopefully they’ll be catching up within the next week or so just in time for the season.”
Having joined the Town in January, the former Gillingham man is currently in his first pre-season programme under Paolo Di Canio and has enjoyed the experience despite the hype from his team-mates.
“It’s been brilliant for me," he said. "I knew what I was coming in to. All the boys talked it up saying I’d never seen anything like it and even the lads who have come in - the likes of Tommy Miller and Alan Navarro who have played at a higher level - they’ve come in and said it’s the toughest pre season they’ve ever had.
“We’ve got Crystal Palace and Brighton, two Championship sides coming up so, with all due respect, a much sterner test than Salisbury. We’ve done really well - it’s been a good pre-season so far and we’ve got just one game before the real stuff starts.”