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Feeling the benefits

Lewis Holtby's been one of Rovers' star performers so far this season

21 September 2020

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Whilst Adam Armstrong's been stealing all the headlines for his goals and performances so far this season, there are plenty of others that have also displayed their quality in the early stages of this term.

One of those is a new look Lewis Holtby, who is loving life in a slightly changed role as he begins his second year as a Rovers player.

After joining late in the summer window back in 2019, the experienced German was playing catch up having not experienced a full pre-season schedule in East Lancashire.

An injury-hit first campaign back in England saw the 30-year-old total 27 appearances in all competitions, with the playmaker openly admitting that it was a frustrating 2019-20 season on a personal level.

But now fully fit, firing and with a pre-season under his belt, Holtby says his current condition is the best he's felt in a long time.

“I’m very much looking forward to the future at this club," he explained to iFollow Rovers.
 
“I didn’t have a pre-season last year but I’m really feeling the benefits of having one this time around.
 
“Physically I feel really good. My legs are up-to-date, I know I’m really fit and once that’s all sorted I know my football quality can rise up to really help the team.
 
“I put everything into every training session and it was very demanding having to play catch up without the pre-season.
 
“My body seemed to constantly be on the brink and the big knee injury didn’t help things.
 
“We’ve worked really hard in pre-season and I know I can push myself every day to be ready for three games in a week. That’s the Lewis Holtby I know.
 
“The one before I didn’t know. I think it’s the fittest I’ve been since my early 20s."
 
With three caps for his country, Holtby has undoubted technical ability, as shown with a superb free kick in Rovers' Carabao Cup first round victory over Doncaster Rovers.
 
And in a changed position from last term which now sees him playing deeper, he's enjoying his football again.
 
“I still have the love for football and have that sharpness," he added. "Putting your body into the right position always allows you to be free, to play free.
 
“I feel different this year and hopefully the club and I can benefit from it.
 
“I’m really enjoying it this season, in a slightly deeper position that I have played in my career.
 
“I have the freedom still to get forward into the box and it’s happened twice now where I’ve come close to scoring."
 

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