Paul Dickov says he may have taken a few liberties with how hard he pushed his players during their week-long training camp in Portugal.
But he says supporters will see his squad flying in fitness terms in tonight’s second friendly of the summer against Nottingham Forest.
“It’s the third year we’ve done it and it was probably the best we’ve had,” Dickov told the Star.
“The players worked incredibly hard to the extent I probably took a few liberties with them at times.
“But they just got their heads down and got on with it.
“A few of the senior lads that have spoken to me since we got back have said it was one of the best pre-season camps they’ve been involved in.
“The lads are absolutely flying. I maybe over-pushed it with one or two of the sessions but they dragged each other through.
“You want to see that, if someone is struggling that the rest of the group pulls them through.”
The Rovers squad endured triple training sessions in 33 degree heat over six days last week.
But Dickov says the boost to morale and togetherness was as worthwhile as the fitness work.
He said: “The togetherness and the camaraderie was outstanding.
“There were rooming lists of four but we put senior players in with young pros and new signings to make sure everyone was together.
“Whether breakfast, lunch or dinner, everyone ate together.
“We gave them all a night out to get something to eat off the complex and everyone went out together and everyone came back together.
“That was pleasing because you worry about them coming back.”
Dickov insists tonight’s friendly at the Keepmoat is still fitness focused but added that he hopes to see some of his recent tactical work begin to take hold.
New faces Richard Chaplow, Andy Williams and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair are all expected to play for the club for the first time in some part in tonight’s friendly which kicks off at 7.45pm.