Former Sunderland midfielder Paddy McNair reckons that Middlesbrough’s squad will reap the benefits of their tough pre-season programme.
Boss Tony Pulis put Boro’s players through a gruelling camp in Austria, featuring 5.30am wake-up calls and triple sessions.
McNair, who switched from Wearside to Teesside last month, told mfc.co.uk: “It was a tough week. There were triple sessions every day, we were up very early in the morning but at the same time it was enjoyable.
“I think all the lads definitely benefited from it, getting the fitness up, but, at the same time, I’m glad it’s in the bank.
“I signed last Monday and then away to Austria with the lads on the Wednesday, so I think it was a great opportunity to get to know the lads because you’re with them every day and I feel like I’ve done that.”
Boro lost their only friendly so far on Thursday night, going down 1-0 to Austrian outfit Sturm Graz.
McNair played the first half and admitted: “It was a tough game.
“They were a good side, but I think the main objective was getting the fitness.
“Everyone got at least 45 minutes and came through injury free, which was the main thing.”
Boro are now back at home and ready for a second pre-season match at National League North side Spennymoor Town tomorrow night (7.45pm). Admission to the Brewery Field will cost £10 (adults), £5 (over-60s) and £2 (under-18s).
Boro head to Germany to meet SV Sandhausen on Saturday in a second training camp on the continent.