ANDY HALLIDAY says nothing will ever compare to running Gullane Sands as a 17-year-old but Steven Gerrard’s pre-season’s come very close.
The 27-year-old has jetted out to Portugal for the team’s summer camp and is looking forward to a week of intensive work to prepare for the Gers first competitive game on July 11.
Halliday admits he has worked harder than ever over his summer break and has re-joined the team fitter than ever before.
Speaking to RangersTV: “I can’t wait to start the season. It is a tough period for players just now with pre-season but it is all for us and all geared up for when the games start to come.
“You do look forward to it, it is a chance for all the boys to bond for a week and the new players to get to know the players first and foremost and how we want to play.
“I am sure they will buy into what we want to do and they have done really well for the first week we have been back in.
“Pre-season is never going to be easy, it will be hard two or three sessions a day for the week but it is all geared to hopefully have a successful season.
“I did Gullane Sands with Gary Bollan when I was 17 and nothing will be tougher than that!
“It is definitely more in the mould of an old school pre-season so it is definitely up there and the manager’s sessions are the toughest pre-seasons I have done since I was 18.
“Right now I feel the fittest I ever have. Like everyone else in the squad we had our chats with the gaffer and the backroom staff going into the summer and I had a good chat with the gaffer myself.
“I think with me it was important I realised I had to come back as fit as possible and try and impress from the get-go and fight my way into the plans for this year.
“I have done more work this summer than normally I would in the off-season. It is more difficult for us because when I played in England you have six or seven weeks off and would get those two or three weeks to rest and let the body recover before you started training again.
“When you play in Scotland you only really have that five days to a week and then it is all guns blazing.
“I haven’t had that much recovery over the summer, I kept myself ticking over and then in the lead up to coming back into training I have been putting myself through the paces.
“It seems to have paid off because in the first three or four days of running I have certainly seen a difference.”
Halliday has been impressed by how the Light Blues’ new signings who joined up with the squad in Glasgow before the team headed overseas.
He continued: “I think the new boys have been superb, in terms of the characters because I think that is the most important thing when you are such a tight group and work with each other every day.
“So you want the new signings to buy into you as a group of boys and I think they have settled in really well.
“I think it has maybe been a bit easier for Greg and Jake because they have played up here and in terms of players we know what they are about, we played against them plenty of times last season.
“Greg caused us problems last season so we are very glad he is part of our squad now and not someone else’s this year.
“Jake’s breakthrough season, from January onwards, was really impressive and he scored a lot of important goals for Motherwell and he is another good young signing for us.
“Sheyi will have had an easy transition because there are a lot of former Liverpool players and staff here.”