QPR’s central defender Joel Lynch is hoping the work he has put in during the summer break will lead to an injury-free season.
The 30-year-old is heading into his third season at Rangers, but injuries have meant he’s struggled to consistently hold a place in the team.
Speaking to www.qpr.co.uk Lynch explained how he’s been doing extra work during the summer to give himself the best chance of starting in Steve McClaren’s first choice defence.
“I’m in good shape,” Lynch said. “It’s the most I’ve done off-season in my whole career. I just want to keep it up and maintain that level by having a good pre-season and getting ready for the first game.
“As I’ve got older I’ve really wanted to eradicate these injuries I’ve had over the last few years and get a good season together, so I try my hardest to look after myself and just do that bit of extra conditioning.
“It’s something I need to do to make sure I’m right, I don’t want to get injured again!”
Lynch and most of the first team returned to Harlington on Monday for pre-season training. Running in temperatures close to 30°c was not easy but it’s something the defender said can benefit the squad in the long run.
“It weren’t very nice”, he confessed. “Obviously the heat has killed us a bit but the first day is always a tough day!
“It started with testing and running but it’s nice to get it out of the way and see where you are and that can only benefit us. There were some good performances from the group today and some really high scores and everyone looks in really good shape.”
There have obviously been some big changes since Lynch and the rest of the group last all trained together with QPR appointing Steve McClaren as manager.
Lynch has worked previously with McClaren at Nottingham Forest and is looking forward to rekindling their relationship.
“I was with him for a while at Forest, he’s a really good manager and very good coach. Everyone knows that he tries to help the players.
“You get an understanding straight away of what he wants and will create a good environment although in fairness we already have that from the previous regime. It’s a good group, everyone is willing to work and it’s exciting.”
And Lynch is now looking forward to the first game of the season against Preston North End, stating he believes the group of lads that he’s a part of can surprise a few this term.
He added: “We’ve got a young squad and I think we can definitely improve on last season. The manager has already said it’s a tough job but there are so many underdogs.”
“We’re a very talented bunch so let’s see where it gets us.”