Rotherham United: Mattock is up for the pre-season pain.

Joe Mattock
Joe Mattock
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Defender Joe Mattock is embracing the summer of suffering manager Paul Warne is planning for his Rotherham United players because he knows it could lead to a push for promotion.

Warne has warned there will be hill runs and three sessions a day when the Millers, back in League One next term following relegation from the Championship, return for pre-season training at the end of June.

And left-back Mattock knows from past experience as a youngster with home-town club Leicester City how effective an arduous fitness schedule can be.

“I have done hill runs before,” said the 27-year-old. “When I was at Leicester in the academy, we had a coach who was very similar to Warney. He was very fitness-minded.

“He loved his running and he used to take us into the hills. Every day, we did nine until five, and that was pure exercise, keeping fit, whether it was running or swimming or in the gym.”

Mattock emerged from the academy and played 36 games as an 18-year-old for the Foxes in their 2008/08 League One campaign after coming through a punishing pre-season regime.

Paul Warne

Paul Warne

“We ended up smashing our league that season, so obviously it does some good,” he said.

The Millers will head to Austria on tour in their second week back, with Warne pledging there will be no let-up while they’re away.

“When I tell players we’re going to Austria, it sounds like it’s going to be hard work,” the boss said. “If you tell players they’re going to Portugal or Marbella, it sounds like you’re having a jolly-up. That’s definitely not what we’re having.”

Rotherham have already begun their summer recruitment, bringing in centre-half Michael Ihiekwe, 24, who was out of contract at National League Tranmere Rovers.

Warne, who is targeting three strikers, a goalscoring midfielder and another central defender, hopes to have most of his signings in the bag before the July 9 start of the Austria trip.

Mattock added: “A pre-season trip can be important for bringing the new lads in and getting to know them. We have got a good set of lads. We will always make new players welcome.”