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Oxley: "We want to go one better"

19 July 2018

Blues's first team have been put through their paces in pre-season and another test is on the horizon with the visit of Leeds United on Sunday.

Shot-stopper Mark Oxley was one of Chris Powell's stand out performers last season after keeping 17 clean sheets and winning the Player of the Season award.

And the 27-year-old is raring to go after getting some minutes under his belt on Wednesday against Tottenham.

"It's been a tough pre-season, I think we are around three weeks in now and the games are starting to come which is the carrot at the end of the stick for everyone to be honest," he said. 

"We had a tough week out in Spain and we had the game against Aberdeen out there. It was tough out there, double sessions every day for everyone. 

"What I do in training is different to what the lads do, and they will tell you it's easy but it's really a different kind of fitness training.

"Some managers get you to join in with the long distance running and that's what we've been doing. It's just good to get the gloves back on and I'm looking forward to the season starting. 

With the visit of Leeds United at Roots Hall on Sunday, the former Hull City stopper is hoping to increase his game time on Sunday from the pre-season games so far.

"I'm definitly looking forward to it, being a Yorkshire lad myself I know they've got a good following and I wouldn't be surprised if they brought a good few down on Sunday. 

"It's going to be a different test for us compared to what we have done so far this season. I've played three sets of 45 minutes so far and I'm looking forward to hopefully getting 60 minutes possibly 90 minutes at the weekend." 

Ultimately the goal is to be ready for August 4 against Doncaster Rovers and trying to replicate his form of last season, or even improve on that.

"Of course, I want to go one better than last season, but the team comes first and if I can help them out in any way possible like I did last year than I'll do that. 

"For me it's all about the team and we all want to go one better than last season and get around the play-offs, if not better. 

"It's about working hard in training and bonding as a team. The manager has bought in around five or six new faces and it's all about joining together; we did that in Spain and we are looking to do that again at the weekend."

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