Captain Rory McArdle feels he is ready and raring to go for the start of the upcoming campaign, which is now just over a we
The Iron were back in action for the first time at Glanford Park this season against strong opposition in the form of Championship side Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, with McArdle reflecting on the test he felt the side needed.
When speaking about his thoughts on the game he told iFollow Iron: “It was good. Pre-season is all about getting fit with the days nearing to the start of the season so every is pleased they are getting ninety minutes under their belts.
“Credit to the lads, everyone kept going in a difficult game when we always knew it was going to be a big test. However, it was a test that we wanted and I thought everyone came out of it well and unscathed too which is important for this time of the season.
Talking about how he and lads were feeling after another tough match he said: “I feel fine. It’s always hard work when you are up against opposition as good as what they are and how they play.
"I’m sure everybody has been feeling a little bit of stiffness here and there but it’s pre-season and that’s all part and parcel of it. Everything has been done right and we are all looking forward and are in good shape.”
He went on to say: “It’s a test but it gives that gauge as to where you are at and you know that it is going to be a tough work out. It’s better that way sometimes than playing a game and scoring lots of goals without too much of a test. I think this is physically good and it opens the lungs.
On the important of playing an outfit like Nottingham Forest, McArdle added: "We can’t just look at it as a fitness exercise, we had to cause them problems as well to put our own stamp on the game."
The defender also reflected on the significance of the training camp in Austria last week and how it helped bring everybody together to build and bond as a team.
“It’s always a fun trip. I think it’s important that everyone spends a lot of time with each other in one another’s pockets.
"Also, when the new lads come in like I did last year, it helps a lot just to get to know everyone, to see how they look after themselves and to get them extra sessions in so you can get used to playing with everyone and have that team bonding.
"The opportunity to have the pitches right on where we were sleeping and eating also just made it that bit easier to get all the extra sessions in.”
Looking ahead to the final pre-season game, McArdle is excited for another difficult test against a physically strong Lincoln side: “It’ll be another tough game. It’ll be a different sort of game, more of a physical contest so it’s a game we are looking forward to.”
Speaking about Lincoln he said: “They had a good season last year and will be looking to build on that with a positive start going into their campaign so we know that if we are not at it, it will be a tough game.
As this fixture will be the last before the start of the new season he added: “We want to get the fitness side of it in but equally, we want to start to put into practice what we have done on the training pitch and start playing as well as we can.”
With the 2018/19 season fast approaching, the centre-back says that the Iron should look to build on last year: “We want to improve on last year. Last year was a good opportunity for us and I’m sure throughout the season we will have the quality to be in the top six so the aims are the same as they were last year.
"It also shows the importance of having a good pre-season to get the legs working again and making sure that everyone is on the same sheet and putting the graft in so we can get the rewards come the end of the season."
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