Callum Reilly has praised the work of AFC Wimbledon’s first-team staff in preparing the squad for a long season ahead.
The 26-year-old midfielder is expecting a very different kind of test against Plymouth to the direct style encountered at Northampton last weekend and he says that Sports Scientist Chris McConnell and physio Stuart Douglas have the squad in good shape for the challenge ahead.
"A lot of unseen work goes on here," said Callum. "With the lockdown situation, I spoke to people at other clubs and they were not getting the communication that we were getting throughout. It's something that you desperately need. We could have got into bad habits, but with Chris holding Zoom calls two or three times a week and speaking to Dougy a lot it kept us on the right track for when we did come back. Since we've been back we've covered every base. They (Chris and Dougy) have been brilliant and the boys are in fantastic shape.
"It's going to be a different sort of game to Northampton last week. Northampton was a very tough game physically. Plymouth are a good side, I know the manager and some of the players. They play good football and it's going to be a challenge for us, but one we've been working on all week. We've prepared really well for it and we are looking forward to Saturday.
"We've got a lot of new players in the squad and they've adapted well to how we play and I'm sure we will have some good performances ahead. We've got a lot of players who can play in different positions, so we can always adapt in-game, or at the start of games from the previous match."
With eight new players signed in the summer, Callum and the senior members of the squad have made it easy for them to settle in, though they are having to put up with Joe Pigott as DJ for the pre-match music!
"It's a good atmosphere and a good squad. We have a tight-knit bunch. Being down here in one place (without the clubhouse being open) has helped that. The boys have had to communicate and there's been no way of drifting off to different areas. I think it's something that's going to bode well for us this season.
"It's exciting as it has been a long time coming. We had a long pre-season and we've been lucky enough to get two games at QPR so that it is familiar surroundings for us, so we are hoping that will lead to a positive performance on Saturday.
"We've got 'Piggy' back on the music and he's sending out a few requests! The boys like him to do it on his own so that they can give him a bit of stick when he comes on! There's a good atmosphere amongst the boys and you've also got Lukey being my agent and getting me interviews!"
You can see the full interview with Callum Reilly via the link below to our official YouTube channel, ahead of Saturday's visit to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.