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Richie: It's a fresh start for everyone

Smallwood says competition for places will be tougher than ever in 2018/19

26 June 2018

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Rovers midfielder Richie Smallwood is no stranger to hard work, and believes every player will have to battle for a place in the side this season.

The midfielder was an ever-present in the middle of the park as the Blues won promotion in 2017/18, making 52 appearances in all competitions.

Smallwood insists there will be no automatic starters in the Championship, though, and is expecting competition for places to be fierce.

“It’s a fresh start for everyone," he said.

“The manager will assess everyone as they come back, see how the sessions and it’s important to impress again.

“There will be a lot of competition again, healthy competition, training will be intense and there’s going to places to fight for.

“I’ll be doing exactly the same as I did last season, hopefully putting in the same level of performance in pre-season and show that I warrant a shirt come August.”

While the memories of last season are still fresh in the minds of every Rovers supporter, Smallwood says it's important for the players to move on quickly and focus on the next task in hand. 

“It’s in the past – there’s no point dwelling on it, we’ve had our success," he added.

“We’ve shown the character and quality we’ve got and it’s now about showing it again for another 46 games.

“That’s all they are now, memories. They will live with us for the rest of our careers and they're ones we’ll look back on.

“But we want to make fresh memories, and hopefully that will start with Ipswich away in August.

“We have nothing to fear. There are some big clubs, but we will take it game by game.

“Hopefully we’ll get off to a good start and then bring on the big boys.”

Don't forget, our new range of training wear, as modelled by Richie above, is available now. Click here for more.

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