Head Coach Simon Grayson sat down to speak to the press whilst away with the squad on a pre-season training camp in Inverclyde on Thursday afternoon.
The squad have been hard at work this week in their pre-season preparations in Largs as they are building up their fitness and match awareness ahead of the fast-approaching Sky Bet League One season, which is just over two weeks away.
Here is what the gaffer had to say in his interview:
On the training camp in Largs…
“It’s been very good here so far; the facilities are excellent, and the pitches are brilliant. The weather has been very hot, much like it is in England, so the sessions have been demanding on the players - the sessions accompanied by the heat has been hard for them.
“I’m really pleased with how it’s all gone so far. Obviously, we’ve had some new players come in and this is a great opportunity to bed themselves in and get to know each other a bit better so all I have to say is so far, so good.
“It’s a fantastic complex we are at that specialises in looking after a wide variety of athletes so everything from the food to the staff has been top for us – everyone here has been so helpful.”
On signing Anthony Pilkington…
“I think what you’ve got with Pilks is a vastly experienced player who has played at a good level, and he wanted to come to the football club from the first chat we had with him. We have quite a young group and I felt that we needed someone with a bit more experience to help the younger players at times.
“I think he’s the experience that will help him cause the opposition problems in whatever system we end up playing. We played largely in a 3-5-2 setup last season, and I can see Pilks fitting straight into that, but we also have the option to play four at the back so he can use his ability to find pockets of space out wide.
“One things is for sure, we will be able to utilise him in multiple ways. He a fit and strong lad who has a lot of quality and has the ability to play in a number of positions, which we like as it shows he is flexible and adaptable, and this shows that he definitely is a good acquisition for us.”
On the squad’s fitness levels…
“Touch wood, everyone is still handy, everyone who is up here with us is training, and we’ve even had players come back from injury with the likes of Callum Camps participating in his first full session today after his dislocated shoulder from the back end of last season – he’s made good progress so far.
“He will be a little bit like Pilks as he probably won’t be ready for this weekend’s game against St Johnstone, but he should be building up for next week and then the start of the new season. We have had some players with some niggles but none who have missed any sessions."
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