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Interview: Barnard happy to be getting a good pre-season under his belt

16 July 2014

Blues striker delighted to have the chance to put in the hard graft ahead of the new season...

Southend United striker Lee Barnard says he is feeling in good condition, as pre-season continues to pick up ahead of the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

Barnard spoke before pre-season about how he was looking forward to having the opportunity to get himself in the best shape possible for the new campaign.

And two weeks, and three games, into pre-season, Barnard believes he is in a good position so far, ready to kick on as we get closer and closer to the first game against Accrington Stanley on August 9th.

After playing the final 30 minutes at Billericay Town on Tuesday night, Barnard said: “I’ve really enjoyed pre-season so far, and I’m really pleased that I’ve got this opportunity to get myself in the best shape possible for the new season.

“I’m feeling sharp, I’m feeling fit, and now it’s all about improving that, while getting your eye in, and getting your touch in ready for the first game against Accrington Stanley.

“The last couple of years I’ve not had a pre-season and my campaigns have been troubled by injury, but I’m feeling 100 per cent at the moment and am just pleased to have the chance to put in the hard graft.

“The games so far have been good. Obviously the final 30 minutes against Billericay were a bit scrappy compared to the first hour with all the changes that had been made.

“But again it is minutes under your belt and the chance to work on a few things. With minutes against Spurs on Wednesday too, I’ll feel ready for a full 90 minutes if that is what the manager decides.”

Summer signing Myles Weston has made an immediate impact in pre-season, bagging three in two games before Spurs on Wednesday, playing in a central striker’s role.

Barnard is well aware of the competition for places in his area of the field, but says he’s up for the challenge. “It’s great to have competition, it makes everyone improve that extra 10 or 20 per cent,” he added.

“Myles has come in, trained really well and looked sharp in the games. He’s got a few goals to his name too which he’ll be delighted with at this stage of pre-season.

“Everyone knows what you get with Barry Corr, he’s a top player for this football club, while Ellis Brown has come in and shown no fear – he’s looked really bright.

“I’m just focusing on my own game however. You always want to get goals as a striker, but I’m not too worried about that in pre-season, it’s when Accrington Stanley comes around that it really matters.”

An exclusive interview with Lee will be available on Blues Player.

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