Owen Coyle met his squad for the first time today as the players returned to Brockhall for the start of pre-season training.
The manager addressed the group on the indoor pitch, before the players were put through their paces in a series of fitness and medical tests.
“It’s important that we ascertain their fitness levels quite quickly, before we get the footballs out, and to be fair they’ve come in with a great attitude, great desire and I was delighted with the quality of work this morning,” said the new Rovers boss.
“There’s no substitute for hard work. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you’re not physically and mentally ready to show that talent, it counts for nothing. So it’s important that we get them ready physically and we’ll look to add that strong mentality as we go, and ultimately that will give them the platform to go and show their talent.
“We believe that we have some good players at the club and we think that we’ve added to the existing quality with some of the players that we’ve brought in and we’ll look to continue to do that.
“It’s exciting and it’s great to have everyone back in. Corry (Evans) and Shane (Duffy) will get a couple of weeks rest and then re-join us in the middle of pre-season, but it’s fantastic to have the nucleus of the group here.
“We want to be out there with the footballs, passing and moving, but today was a great opportunity to get them all together and to understand how we want to move forward as a group. It’s been a great day and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”