With the new season kicking off in a matter of days, Brewers captain, Jake Buxton, outlines the groundwork required to be ready for this Saturday’s opener against Ipswich Town.
A good start is essential for Albion to continue their momentum from the second half of the season and potentially challenge for a playoff place.
“All the hard work’s been done. We’ve done the pre-season fixtures. We’ve done the run round the parks and the track. We’ve worked hard and the preparation this week’s been good.
“We’re prepared for Ipswich on Saturday, which we know is going to be a tough test, but it’s one we relish and one we’re ready for.”
In terms of the manager’s fitness regimes over the Summer break, the defender praised the boss’ methods and the positive impact that they’ve had on the squad’s morale.
“It’s been tough. It always is with the gaffer. Obviously, we do the park runs and the track and the swimming.
“We stayed quite local. We’ve worked hard, dug in together and have a good laugh. It is tough, but yeah, it has been enjoyable. I’ve still got the buzz.”
“There’s method in the madness. What’s good is that you’re normally in teams, so when you’re swimming, you might be in four teams of five, so you’ve got to dig in together and work.
“It creates that togetherness from day one and that’s what the manager’s good at is creating a desire to want to work hard for your team-mate.”
When asked if he was excited to just get out onto the pitch, now that the pre-season preparation was all but complete, the 34-year-old offered insight into the intensity of season openers.
“Whatever you do. The work, the games. It doesn’t prepare you for that first match.
“Everything’s frantic, everything’s 100 miles an hour and that’s because everyone wants to win and it’s crazy the first game of the season.
“You’ve just got to make sure you stay in the game, you’re level-headed and make sure you have enough in the tank to go into the final stages of the game.”