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INTERVIEW: Nice to get the shirt on again

5 July 2015

Midfielder Luke Joyce on pre-season and settling in

United midfielder Luke Joyce admitted this week that it still feels slightly strange to be back on his old stomping ground following his move away from the club nine summers ago.

“It still feels a little bit surreal that I’m back here, to be honest,” he said. “Obviously none of the players are here that I was with last time, but there are members of staff and people I recognise, so that’s nice.

“Having said that, it’s also good to meet a new group of players and it’s all about getting involved and settling into the squad. There’s a really good feeling around the group and I think that’s helping with the sessions we’re doing.

“The first team and youth team are training together and that’s helping us all to get to know each other and, like I say, there’s a really positive mood coming from it. I do feel like I’m fitting in already.”

“I don’t know if it’s flying by or not but it’s progressing along and it’s been really good,” he said. “It’s been enjoyable, but it’s also tough and very hard work.

“The lads are pulling together and pushing through it, and I think everyone is doing the best they can.” 

“Pre-season is always tough and everything we’ve done so far has been high tempo,” he confirmed. “That’s the same if we’ve been running with the ball, or doing other stuff. The added factor this week has been the heat and that really does take it out of you. 

“I think you expect this level of intensity and I think you actually need it, because it can only benefit everyone. You come in early in the morning together, you train hard as a squad of players and you push each other on right through each day. That’s the best way of getting to know people in this job, in my opinion.”

“I’m really looking forward to the friendly fixtures next week,” he told us. “It’ll be nice to get that shirt on again and get out there. I want to do my best to try to impress the manager and the supporters and it’ll be good to put what we’ve done over the last week into practice out on the pitch.
“Always in the back of the mind is the fact it’s about the Mansfield game at the beginning of August. The fitness work, the strength and conditioning and the ball work is all about being in the best condition and shape possible so that we can go out and get three points. 

“I just want to repay the faith the manager has shown in me by producing the performances out on the pitch.”

And he also admitted that has been just as interested as everyone else with the transfer activity over the course of the last few weeks.

“Watching the new signings come in has been exciting,” he said. “The manager has looked at a bit of experience and he’s mixed that up with some younger players as well. 
“I’ve seen some of the interviews that have been done and it looks like there’s more to come.

“It adds an element of competition because we know nothing is guaranteed and that no-one has a safe starting place. Everyone is fighting for a shirt and that can only be healthy for the squad in terms of getting the best out of everyone.”

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