THE image of QPR goalkeeper Matt Ingram trudging off the training pitch covered in mud, with sweat trickling from his brow, says it all.
It’s fair to say it’s not just the outfield players, as some would have you to believe, that bear the brunt of pre-season training.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk after this morning’s session in Mill, the R’s stopper made it clear that the keepers are working just as hard as the rest of the squad on the Hoops’ pre-season training camp in Holland.
"It's been hard work, but that's to be expected,” he said.
"The keepers work hard, believe or not! Some say we don't have to because we just stand around on matchdays, but that's definitely not the case!
"We've been doing a lot of the running and I think our heart rates are just as high as the outfield players during pre-season to be honest.”
Ingram played 70 minutes in yesterday’s behind-closed-doors training match against RKC Waalwijk in a 1-1 draw, but there was no time for rest this morning, with another two-hour session.
"There's a real intensity to this week,” said Ingram, “but that's what we need ahead of the new season.
"We're working on specifics as keepers and the gaffer utilises the keepers a lot during his sessions.
"The gaffer wants us - as keepers - to start attacks and play high.
"So he's always getting us involved, playing out from the back, asking us to start attacks as quickly as possible if it's the right thing to do.
"He wants us to play forward, be on the front foot - and that starts with the goalkeepers.”
Next up for Ingram and co. are friendlies against PSV Eindhoven (Friday) and FC Groningen (Monday) – and the former Wycombe no.1 is relishing the prospect of coming up against the Dutch duo.
"They're two good games for us,” he said.
"They'll be tough tests, that's for sure, but it's important we continue to take forward steps both in terms of our fitness levels and performances.
"We’re looking forward to both games.”