JERMAIN DEFOE feels he’s in tip-top condition as the Rangers players get fully into the swing of pre-season.
The striker has worked hard away from the Rangers Training Centre prior to the players returning this week, and his aim is to feel just as good as he did this time last year ahead of the new campaign.
He told RangersTV: “I feel good. In last pre-season, I felt unbelievable – last pre-season was probably one of the best I’ve felt physically for a long time and I just want to do the same.
“The lockdown has been tough mentally but I have challenged myself and I’ve been in the gym every day.
“I had a calf problem, but that is fine now and I have been doing a lot of power work, a lot of strength and I am just delighted to get back.
“I just want to get on the ball and all that side of it takes care of itself. But in-terms of strength and fitness, I feel really good.”
To assist Defoe and the rest of the squad for the coming season, Gers have, so far, added Calvin Bassey and Ianis Hagi to their pool of players.
Bassey is someone who excites Defoe and he continued: “I am looking forward to him coming. I’ve seen some clips of him and obviously the friendly game last season he played in at Ibrox.
“He has great potential.
“Ianis has been my pre-season partner – we did some running together before we came back and we seem to have been paired up in all the drills we have done in training, so I am looking forward to seeing these young players improve and I am sure those two names that you mentioned will be massive for us this season in-terms of trying to achieve something special.”
Pre-season, of course, has an alternative look to it this year given the restrictions in-place due to Covid-19.
Defoe, however, has been very impressed with how things have worked so far, and paid particular tribute to Dr Mark Waller.
He added: “It’s been different, but credit to the football club and the staff and the doctor and everyone, as what they have put in place for the players, you feel comfortable.
“Of course, you are going to be a little bit anxious coming in because you don’t really know what’s expected as it is a new thing for everyone.
“Everything we have done in the last few days has been perfect and all the players feel comfortable.
“I love the doc! I’ve known the doc for a long time – I was with him with England under-18s and England under-21s before he went to Liverpool.
“But I’ve known him a long time and he’s a genius so when you have someone like that at the football club, it does make you feel relaxed, and even in the lockdown we had Zoom calls and the doc was explaining to the players what was going on which was important, and again, it’s not just about us, it’s about our families as well so credit to the doc and everyone for putting everything in place so we are safe and everything is perfect for us.”