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Hutchinson welcomes arrival of Murray Wallace to Millwall

Defender gives his thoughts on pre-season and looks ahead to Portugal trip...

2 July 2018

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Shaun Hutchinson has welcomed the arrival of Murray Wallace to the club, insisting the added competition will only bring the best out of him and his fellow defenders.

The 27-year-old starred alongside Jake Cooper at the heart of the Lions backline last season as Neil Harris' men finished eighth in The Championship.

And Hutchinson believes the signing of Wallace, a stand-out performer for Scunthorpe United over the past three seasons in Sky Bet League One, will have a similar impact to when Jason Shackell joined on loan from Derby County in January.

"If you look at last year when Jason Shackell came in the intensity and quality of performances picked up," he told 

"It obviously wasn’t solely down to that, but it certainly strengthened the competition among the defenders. It’s massively important to have that.

"You look at Byron Webster last year as a prime example. Out of nowhere he suffered a long-term injury so it was vital we had back-up in the side - he'd been a integral part of the team the year previously."

After back-to-back Play-Off campaigns prior to last season, Hutchinson admitted it was beneficial for the squad to have an extended pre-season break this time around.

He added: “It was a strange one having a longer break than usual. But it feels great to be back.

“The boys have all come back in really good condition. We’ve done a few tests now and everyone looks like they’ve improved and kicked on from last year.

“It’s still very tough, the heat makes it harder. But it helps you burn the extra fat on your body at the same time, as obviously you’re sweating more."

The Lions travel to Portugal next week as part of their annual trip away, and the defender is relishing getting away with the rest of the group.

“The trip away is always great for the new signings. Obviously Murray Wallace is here now, he’ll probably come into his own when he’s away," he commented.

“It’s a great group of lads here, so we just get on with it. We all know a solid pre-season will set us in good stead for the rest of the year.

“Everyone’s ready now. There’s obviously a few things we need to do before we’re all ready for the new season, but we're raring to go."

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