HAVING finished outside the play-off positions last year, Rotherham United’s players are now bracing themselves for a gruelling summer.
In the latter stages of the 2010/11 campaign, manager Andy Scott described his squad’s fitness and conditioning as ‘miles off what it should be’ and vowed to put them through their paces in pre-season.
It is clear Scott, who secured his first win in charge on the final day of the season at home to Torquay United, won’t tolerate slackers and expects high standards from his players.
But midfield workhorse Danny Harrison welcomes Scott’s ‘stricter’ regime.
The Liverpudlian, who has one year left to run of his deal at the Don Valley Stadium, told The Star: “We know things will be different under Andy. He doesn’t think that we were at the required fitness levels so he has told us that he is going to do something about it.
“There is going to be a lot of running involved. We know from the last couple of sessions of last season that they are going to be intense.
“I am quite old school so I’m looking forward to it.”
The 28-year-old, who jets off to Turkey for a family holiday in three weeks time, added: “Pre-season is a break from football but it is not a break from keeping fit.
“It is part and parcel of being a modern footballer. Things are a little stricter under Andy than we have been used to in the past.
“He is very hands on as a manager. Sometimes managers take a back seat and let their coaches take a lot of the sessions but Andy isn’t like that at all. He is very structured in the work he does and is well organised. He knows what he wants and what we he has to do achieve results at the club.”
Harrison expects there to be plenty of comings and goings before the start of pre-season training. Rotherham boss Scott plans on bringing in a minimum of six new faces to bolster the options at his disposal while he is also waiting on six players to make their minds up on contract offers.
“Andy is not worried about qualifying for the play-offs next year; he wants to win the league,” said Harrison. “He has taken Brentford up as champions before and that is what he expects from us.
“The important thing is that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. I want to be sitting pretty at the top of the table, having won the league and wanting to know where the chairman is going to take us on holiday!”
Rotherham have confirmed two pre-season friendlies with Grimsby Town and Sheffield Wednesday. Scott’s side will head to Blundell Park on Saturday July 16, kick-off 3pm and entertain the Owls on Tuesday July 19. KO 7.45pm.