CITY'S players have been warned there will be no room for complacency when pre-season hots up.
Phil Parkinson’s men blew away the summer cobwebs yesterday with a double session to herald their return to training.
Jon McLaughlin and Raffaele De Vita joined the squad, which included the five new signings, to begin the six-week preparation for the new campaign.
Fitness guru Nick Allamby has designed a tried and tested formula for City’s third pre-season with Parkinson. But there are a few tweaks to keep players on their toes.
Allamby, the club’s head of sports science and fitness, said: “We planned most of it before we finished so everything was in place in plenty of time. We were discussing it a couple of months before the end of last season, if not even earlier.
“We have a system for pre-season that has worked quite well in the past, based on how we train, the intensity of sessions each day and when the games fit in.
“We always like to have our first pre-season friendly at the end of the second week and then we have the trip to Ireland. The pitches are good there and it’s not too hot so you can get some decent work in.
“But there’s also quite a lot of different content involved. We don’t want players getting too comfortable with the routine.
“If they come in thinking ‘it’s Monday, we’re doing this or Tuesday so it must be that’ then you can get complacent. We don’t let that happen.”
The squad had already reported to Apperley Bridge a couple of weeks ago during two days of testing to check they had been keeping up with individual fitness programmes.
City were happy with the results but Allamby insisted there is plenty of hard work to come in the countdown to August 9.
Under Parkinson, they have gained a reputation for fitness and staying power – only the top three had a better record in the second half of League One games last season.
Allamby added: “Gone are the days when they came straight back to get flogged with just running and running. There’s a lot of football involved.
“But some of them will still get quite a shock the next couple of weeks; others not so much.
“Obviously players come back at different levels but they have all got a good base to work from.
“We pride ourselves on being a fit football team. We know all about the manager’s work ethic and what he expects from the players.
“It was quite stressful last season when we had that tough middle spell but we finished off very strong with some good results. The last ten games were very pleasing for me.
“We’ve got a full six weeks now and with quite a lot of new players, it gives us a better chance to mould them all together.”