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TESTED TO THE MAXIMUM

15 July 2016

Iron manager Graham Alexander is delighted with the fitness levels shown by his squad throughout the week-long training camp in Austria.

United had their final training session of the week in Obertraun on Friday morning, and they will then head to Salzburg on Friday afternoon in preparation for their behind-closed-doors friendly against FC Liefering (5.30pm kick-off UK time).

Speaking about how the week has gone since Tuesday night's game abandonment at Union UNIS Gschwandt due to the weather, he told The Iron PlayerHD: "It's been a continuation of what we've done in the first part of the week - we have mostly been training four times a day. It has been 12 hour days for the boys, starting at 6.30am and finishing at 6.30pm at night.

"To be fair, the players have hit every session with full commitment and have been superb all the way through.

"They have been tested to the maximum and it breeds confidence in me that we've got an excellent group here to go into the season.

"They've actually done more than what I've done with teams as a player and manager in the past here, because I thought they were capable of it.

"It's about finding how far you can push the group as a whole, and it's fantastic for me as a manager to know these players are capable of pushing themselves to really hard limits.

"We're preparing the lads for what will be a tough season, where they will need high fitness and high mental levels.

"There will be times throughout the season where you feel tired and that you can't do anymore, but then you have to go and do some more.

"It's about preparing right, doing what you can to prepare for the right level, and then do it on a matchday.

"The work they've put in this week has been superb and all the coaches are really pleased with it."

Concluding with his thoughts ahead of Friday's friendly with FC Liefering, he said: "They beat Ajax last week. When we organise these games we ask for a certain level of opponent, but without knowing what their strengths are.

"We have an indication of what they're capable of but it's about what we do. We need to deliver what we expect from ourselves to make sure we're on the right path to progression for the start of the season.

"Each game will be a more difficult test.

"There will be a certain amount of minutes put into the team who didn't play the other night (60-65 minutes) and then we'll change the team around again.

"It's about building the players up for the start of the season and not peaking them too early.

"When we get back to England and play against Hull we'll be looking to extend the minutes again."

See much more from Graham Alexander on The Iron PlayerHD.

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