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Holtby: We need everyone on board

“We’ll all have a short preparation time, it won’t be easy, but we’ll need all the men we have on board with us"

13 June 2020

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Lewis Holtby says every member of the first team squad will play their part as Rovers aim to make it a final nine games to remember.

The 2019-20 campaign resumes a week today, with Holtby now ready to return after almost five months out of action after picking up an injury against Middlesbrough at the beginning of February.

He's not the only player to return from a setback, with midfielder Corry Evans also returning having been out since January having fractured his skull and shattered his eye socket in the draw at home to Preston North End.

Both players marked their return to action by featuring against Liverpool in a behind closed doors friendly against Liverpool earlier in the week, and Holtby was delighted to get through an hour at Anfield unscathed.

“It felt really nice to play and it felt like the last four-and-a-half months went really quick, despite the hard work, the pain and effort that went into coming back," he revealed to iFollow Rovers.

“Playing away at Liverpool, it was a nice venue to come back to, and it felt great to be back on the pitch again.

“Now I’m looking forward to the next few weeks with the proper games coming .

“Everything felt fine. You’re always working a little longer, working harder to ensure you come back in the best way possible, even throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s another pre-season that we’ve got now, just in a shorter period of time.

“Now it’s about getting the legs going, doing the extra bits and getting on the pitch as much as possible.

“We have nine games in a very short period of time where we play games on Saturdays and Tuesdays for three weeks in a row," he added.

Whilst Derrick Williams and Amari'i Bell missed the trip to Merseyside as a precaution, Tony Mowbray has pretty much a fully fit squad to call upon ahead of nine games in the space of 32 days.

The only absentee will be talisman Bradley Dack, who remains a few months off a return.

But Holtby has called on everyone to step up to the plate for the home straight of the campaign.

“We’ll all have a short preparation time, it won’t be easy, but we’ll need all the men we have on board with us," the 29-year-old said.

“It’s an important time for us as a team.

“Even in a normal season, it’s all about being there for each other, standing your ground as a team. After my injury, Dacky’s injury, Corry’s injury, we’ve all stepped up.

“When I got the chance to play I came and produced. Like all the players, we’ve stuck together and have put ourselves in a position with nine games to go that we’re three points outside the play-off places.

“It’s all to play for and it’s down to us. It's up to us to show how fit we are, how competitive we are and how ready we are."

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