Jason Kennedy on pre-season and the Portsmouth gameWe spoke to midfielder Jason Kennedy about pre-season and the excitement surrounding the Portsmouth game on Saturday.
"There is an air of excitement around the dressing room now," he told us. "We've worked hard during pre-season and the start of the season has come really quickly.
"Everyone is playing for their shirts on Saturday. The lads have been brilliant throughout pre-season and there's a lot of hungry players in the dressing room that will be doing everything they can this week to stake a claim for Saturday.
"Portsmouth are one of the biggest teams in the league so it will be good to pit our wits against them. There'll be a big crowd there with it being the opening day and it will be boiling hot, no doubt, so it will be a great test for this group of players.
"If you look at the lads the gaffer has brought in I think everyone will be wanting and expecting to play, so it will be tough to pick the team. We've got to do our bit and show him we're good enough to be in the starting 11."
"Pre-season has been tough but I'm feeling good now," he said. "Saturday's game at Bradford was another step up and I'm raring to go. The games against Bury and Bradford were what we needed because that's how the season will start. They're both good teams who keep the ball well and I think we've got to be ready for that because Portsmouth will be the same.
"It's always nice to go back to Bradford and their fans gave me a nice round of applause when I came out for the warm up. It's nice to know they appreciated me while I was there and it's good to go back and see old faces and the friends I made while I was there."
"The new lads who've come in are all brilliant lads," he continued. "You get to know them when you play against them so they'll all settled in really well. As a group of players we're all aiming for promotion this year. I think we've improved the squad from last season so hopefully we'll be able to achieve that this season.
"The gaffer touched on it last week, he told us exactly what he wanted and how he wanted us to set up. We'll be looking at that in more detail this week and we'll have everything set in stone for the game on Saturday."