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Ox on the pre-season grind

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits the return to training ahead of a new season can be tough.

After an injury-ridden campaign last term, the midfielder will be hoping for better fortunes this time around.

“Pre-season’s never the most enjoyable situation, especially for the first week whilst you get going again,” he admitted. “You’re here to work and that’s the main thing.

“Within there, there’s obviously some sessions which are really enjoyable and then there’s somewhere you’ve just got to grind and work hard in and get through them to build. So it is what it is in pre-season.

“So far, everything has been spot on for us – training, nutrition, facilities – everything is as good as we can hope for and that’s all you can ask for. You’re lucky to have a pre-season that’s got everything you need, including the physios and all the staff that are working really hard to make it that little bit easier for us.

“So no, we’ve got no complaints at all. It’s been really good so far.

“You can’t really replicate coming here and the types of situations you get into when you’re actually training and competing against people at a top-level again.

“So you can do your most to keep your fitness up in the off-season, but this is when obviously the real work starts and I think we all have some making up to do from the time you have off.

“You have to keep ticking over to make that a shorter process to get back to that point, but yeah, I’m feeling it at the minute, for sure.”