The Millwall manager shares his delight with the squad's hard work
Neil Harris has praised his Millwall players for the way they have "embraced the challenge" of their pre-season training camp in Portugal.
The Lions have been taking part in up to three sessions a day in testing temperatures as they continue preparations for the opening game of the season against Oldham Athletic on Saturday 6th August.
Between now and then there are several friendlies scheduled, starting on Tuesday in a behind-closed-doors fixture against English opposition.
And Harris, celebrating his 39th Birthday today, is delighted with how this week's work in Portugal has been going.
"The players have attacked it as well as they do everything," he said.
"They have been giving every session their absolute all, which is brilliant. To do that in testing conditions, with the weather this hot, is extremely important in terms of them finding their base fitness level for the season ahead.
"Some sessions have been early in the morning with others late at night, and no matter what has been arranged for them they have really embraced the challenge.
"Understandably there has been some fatigue at times because of the conditions, which is to be expected when you come abroad during pre-season. It's the type of test we wanted the players to have under their belts."
Discussing Tuesday's behind-closed-doors friendly, Harris added: "It's a standard 90-minute game and the plan is for every player to get a half.
"We've prepared in and out of possession and done video work while we've been here. There have been training sessions after those bits of analysis so we can really reiterate our messages to the players.
"The tactical element of the game isn't sorted overnight but this has been a very good starting point for us and the first 90-minute game is the start of real preparation for the season ahead."
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