Chris Rush says he's confident Rovers can hit the ground running once the season comes back around, with the Head of Athletic Performance getting the players ready for a shorter pre-season than usual.
Rovers returned for pre-season training today, just 26 days on from their final outing of 2019-20 away at Luton Town.
With a shorter campaign coming up, Rush will oversee the players getting ready to hit the ground running once the competitive term comes around, with the first of four pre-season fixtures beginning with a trip to League One side Fleetwood Town on Saturday afternoon.
And on the first day back at the Senior Training Centre, Rush has revealed that training will be more fun compared to the usually rigourous schedule of a normal pre-season start.
“It’s very different to what we’re used to, with the lads having just over three weeks off," he said.
“They normally have seven to eight weeks off, so this week we’re going to get into the football and doing some hard double sessions.
“We’ll look to build the fitness back up as soon as possible and then will use the friendlies to get the players up to speed.
“After that we’ll soon be into the proper season, so we’ll have pretty much cut out the first couple of weeks of what would be a normal pre-season full of running.
“The competitive football, the 11 v 11, that’s an important thing at the moment, building that competitive fitness.
“We’ll phase that in this week, and it will probably be more enjoyable for the players because we’ll be playing football almost straight away."
“You’re almost learning as you go at the moment," he added when discussing the shorter pre-season programme.
"The lockdown in March was unique due the players being away and taking on their fitness programmes externally.
“When the players came back in, they had to play nine games in a few weeks, which was very demanding.
“We’re in a place where it’s logical to push the lads to play football straight away, because it may be the case, especially with the cup competitions, where you’re playing eight to 10 games in the first few weeks." he said.
“They have to be ready to play twice a week, it’s a condensed season, a shorter campaign.
“It’s a unique situation, but I’m pretty confident that we’ll be fine.”