DECLAN JOHN reckons the Rangers players can ‘feel the buzz’ of the club’s supporters ahead of the new season.
The Welshman was a near-mainstay at left-back last season, and is looking to kick-on again this season, although he knows he faces competition for his place with Jon Flanagan arriving at the club.
He relishes that challenge, however, and cannot wait for the new campaign to get underway.
Speaking to RangersTV in Spain, he said: “From the first day we came in, we can all feel the buzz and it has been going ever since. I think we just want to keep working hard, get pre-season out of the way and then get ready to go.
“Of course it is good, [having competition] and I think we need two or three players in each position. It makes everyone work harder in training as you want to keep your place and hopefully start in the games when the season comes around.
“We need to get fit from the training, and I think you have been able to see over the last few days the boys are feeling a lot fitter after the last few days training.
“It’s been good and the sessions have been tough. It’s been two sessions a day, and it has been tough, but I think the boys have enjoyed it.”
Working with Steven Gerrard at Rangers, John is in an especially fortunate position given he gets to play under another legend of the game, Ryan Giggs, with the Welsh national team.
John hopes to learn as much as he can from the duo, and reckons anything they pass-on will help him to get better.
He continued: “The two of them were massive players who played at the highest level for both club and country. If I can take tips from both of them then it is only going to improve me as a player.
“I think if you ask anyone that question, then they will say he [Gerrard] is one of their idols. He had an amazing career and was a top-class player.”
His return to the national setup with Wales has been a successful one so far, and he was tested over the summer with a match against Mexico, who of course have impressed greatly at the World Cup so far.
“It has been great,” said John. “Going back a few months ago, we had the trip to China which was my first trip in a while, and it was good to get some minutes in there.
“It was then obviously nice to get another 45 minutes under my belt in Mexico. It was a tough game, and I know they have a lot of good players – you see how well they have done in the World Cup so far.
“But we gave them a test and drew the game.”
John arrived at Rangers late last summer, meaning he missed the early European exit. He can’t wait, however, to hopefully get that experience this time around.
He added: “I’m buzzing, and that is a massive chance for me to play in that and hopefully I can feature. A few of the boys have already played in them over the years but your first is always special so hopefully I can play in that.”