Right back Tom Miller spoke to us ahead of Thursday afternoon's training session as the squad started its final preparations for the big game against Swindon Town tomorrow.
“It’s getting very exciting now,” he admitted. “It’s been a good pre-season and we’ve all worked hard. It's been enjoyable even though it has obviously been hard work. We’re all looking forward to the game now and everybody looks ready.
“We’ve had a tough pre-season, we’ve had some good training sessions and we’ve been away a couple of times. We’ve done fitness stuff, mental stuff and physical stuff. Preparation has been good and I think we’ve got everything we need to go into the season and hopefully have a good year."
Speaking about the build-up programme ahead of tomorrow's game, he said: “We’ve obviously had to change the work we’ve been doing this week because in pre-season you can go into games tired after you’ve worked every day.
"This week we’ve been preparing for a game that means something so you’ve got to make sure you aren’t fatigued in any way. That allows you to give everything when you’re out there."
And on the mindset as the big kick-off approaches, he told us: “It does change quite a lot as you build up to the start of the season. We obviously want to get off to a good start with it being the first game.
"The indset will change for everybody because it becomes more serious. It’s nice that we’re in front of our home fans and I’m sure they’ll get right behind us.
“We're all looking forward to what will be a good game. Swindon will be strong and it will be a tough league. I think we’ve got everything we need in this dressing room to compete but we know they won’t be pushovers.
“One of the big things since we got back is that we’ve talked about the end of last season and how much it hurt. It was obviously a disappointing way to end the season and when the lads who were here last season came back through the door the disappointment was still there.
"We’ve had new faces come in and we’re going into a new season so we’ve put it all behind us now. The only thing that we’ll take with us is that we’ve got to better than what we did last year. That means automatics or winning the play-off final, and that’s the aim."
“We’ve got to make sure we match how we started last year then try and continue it throughout the whole season," he commented. "That’s the big part because if we’d done that last year we would have comfortably gone up.
“Along with that we want to concede fewer goals, as the gaffer has already said. The defensive side of things starts at the front - as a back five you can get a lot of responsibility but it’s a collective effort.
"We know it’s something we need to put right this year but we are a free-flowing team and we like to commit bodies forward, which can mean we are open at the back sometimes. We need to manage it better and it is something we’ve looked at.
"I think we’re more than capable with the players we’ve brought in this year to deal with it better and concede less. I think we’ve been tested well during the pre-season games and we’ve reacted well.
"There have been a lot of positives to take out of the games and we’ll be looking to take that into the start of the season tomorrow.”
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