MATTY Dolan reckons some neighbourly advice from City’s fitness chief Nick Allamby will get him up to speed this season.
The former Middlesbrough midfielder turned his Valley Parade loan spell into a permanent move during the summer.
Phil Parkinson told him he had to work on his stamina over the break – and with Allamby’s help, Dolan believes he is “flying” through the current training sessions in Ireland.
“I don’t live far away from Nick, so when I went away in the summer I’ve been on top of it," he said.
“I worked with Nick before when I was at Middlesbrough and he’s the perfect man for the job. He’s an expert in what he does and you’re going to see that with us on the pitch.
“I was talking to the lads at Boro about some of the running sessions and their training’s been all football. No disrespect to them but I don’t know where you’re going to get your fitness from.
“I’m not getting carried away but I feel I’ve come back flying. I know what the gaffer wants me to do and I’m not going to disappoint him.”
Dolan is excited by the influx of players alongside him in midfield who like to get on the ball. But with the shift to a more passing approach, he knows they have to be ready to mix it up.
He said: “It’s important the balance is right. It’s not always right to play football, just like it’s not always right to go long.
“The gaffer is adamant about that in training and everything is geared that way. It’s just a case of everybody getting used to each other and how he wants us to play.
“Everyone can see that he’s brought in some brilliant footballers. He’s got Billy Knott, Billy Clarke and Gary Liddle, as well as Yeatesy (Mark Yeates) and myself – people who do like to play.
“The philosophy is all about not being scared of the ball. We’ve got the players to do it but also others who can do the other stuff.
“We want to be pressing up that league and you can’t be blind to the fact that it’s not going to be pretty all the time.”
In the same way, Dolan sees the current training camp just outside Dublin as the opportunity for more hard graft in the build-up to August 9.
He said: “Nick was adamant before we left that it was not a case of just going away and relaxing. It’s another week of more intensive work.
“It’s the chance to monitor everything, from the training down to the food and the amount of sleep we get. But it’s important if we want to get off to the best start.”