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Saville praises "solid core" in Millwall team

Read from the midfielder as pre-season training begins...

4 July 2018

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George Saville believes Millwall will be in "a better position" in 2018/19 in terms of understanding the rest of the division and each other.

The Lions take on Dartford this Saturday in their first pre-season friendly following two weeks of intensive training in the summer heat before embarking on a trip to Portugal ahead of further friendlies against Cambridge and Colchester United.

Saville, who scored 10 goals from central midfield last season - the first to do so since Tim Cahill - enjoyed an extended break after last year's eighth-placed finish, but is already looking ahead to Saturday 4th August and the opening day at home to Middlesbrough.

"Having some time off was lovely, it was nice to take your mind off things," he told "I had a little niggle at the end of last season, so I had to get that right for the first couple of weeks of the summer, but after that I had a really nice time.

"I'm looking forward to the first day of the season and being at home. We were away last season so it will be nice to start off this campaign at home. We're very good at The Den so it gives us the opportunity to get off to a good start. The Christmas period is good for us as being at home gives us time for rest and recovery, too."

Part of the gruelling pre-season schedule was the yo-yo - known as the bleep to some - test, which the midfielder was successful in against his team-mates in the searing temperatures at Calmont Road.

The amount of running is part and parcel of being a professional footballer, according to Saville.

"It was tough, but I think it was more mental than anything. We're all fit lads here - we're professional athletes - so a lot of it is mental. For the next six weeks a lot of it is doable - you've just got to get your head round it and overcome it.

"From day one everything is important. The testing we do so the staff know where we are and how they can manage us, then going into the games and the trip to Portugal, which is great for everyone.

"Last year was fanatastic - the team bonding, but a lot of hard work as well. I look forward to them all and hopefully that first fixture comes round quickly."

If the bookies are to be believed, The Lions will need to be on their game from that curtain-raiser in their attempts to beat the drop for a second successive campaign.

The 25-year-old brushed aside any hint of Millwall struggling at the wrong end of the table, stating that the squad is "looking forward to the challenge" of proving everyone wrong once again.

"We were one the favourites to go down last season as well, but I think that's based on the stature of the club and the financial side. The bookies aren't going to tip someone like Stoke or Swansea City to go down, that's just not going to happen.

"I think we'll be in a better position this season than we were last season in terms of understanding everyone. I feel like we've got a solid core now, we've got some real characters at the club and we're looking forward to the challenge.

"We have personal targets as a team and I'll set myself personal targets, too. Hopefully we can do what we did last season and kick on."

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