Dimi delighted that Boro still have the buzz as Premier coundown starts in earnest

Dimi Konstantopoulos. Picture by Joe Spence
Dimi Konstantopoulos. Picture by Joe Spence

Bring it on! That’s the message from keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos as the excitement builds over Middlesbrough’s Premier League return.

Boro returned to pre-season training on Monday, with the opening game against Stoke just over a month away.

“We’ve had a good rest for the summer, much longer rest than last season,” said the former Hartlepool United goalkeeper to mfc.co.uk, reflecting on the benefits of automatic promotion.

“We all needed it, we have all used it wisely, and now we’re back and we’re ready.

“We spent much needed time with our families and resting, and obviously watching the Euros which is a bonus – it gives you something to do.

“The buzz is still around, we’ve all charged our batteries and are ready to go.”

Boro have added midfielder Marten De Roon to their squad, for a reported £12million, although the fee is officially undisclosed.

The Dutchman has joined Boro, on a four-year contract, following a single season at Serie A outfit Atalanta. The 25-year-old is the third newcomer, following Bernardo Espinosa and Viktor Fischer. He previously played for Sparta Rotterdam and Heerenveen.

Meanwhile, Boro manager Aitor Karanka is again taking his players to Marbella to help the pre-season work.

Their first friendly is at York City on Saturday, and they visit Doncaster Rovers on July 16 before flying out to southern Spain on Monday, July 18 for a week’s training.

Last summer’s visit to Marbella saw Boro play three closed-door friendlies, and they are likely to repeat that format this year.