Neil Lennon’s players will report back for pre-season training tomorrow desperate to get back into action after enjoying a near seven-week break, Hibs defender Darren McGregor has claimed.
McGregor and his team-mates have been able to put their feet up and relax since their final Championship match against St Mirren on May 6, safe in the knowledge that when they did get back to their East Mains training centre they’d be preparing themselves for a return to the Ladbrokes Premiership following a three-year absence.
And McGregor believes their extended break will have done them the world of good, pointing to how their previous two seasons had been extended by play-off matches, games he revealed he didn’t watch this summer having already headed off on holiday.
He said: “I was glad just to be away relaxing as opposed to preparing for those games. A lot of the boys at Hibs have been in them. They can be really tough. It can be an extra six games in the space of two or three weeks. They are two-legged so it’s a difficult proposition playing against teams who are gunning for the same end goal as you. So it was great to be out of that.
“The long break has been good. During the last few years we’ve had no longer than three or four weeks and, when I was at St Mirren, I had a couple of bad injuries and had no time off at all, so it’s been good to recharge the batteries.
“There was a lot of pressure on us at the third time of asking – after winning the Scottish Cup the year before – to actually go up. It was expected of us as well which sometimes adds a wee bit more pressure. So to get over the line and be rewarded with just over a month and a half off is great.
“But you get itchy feet, you want to get back in. You want to see the new strip, the training kit and you can’t wait until the fixtures come out – even if I am going to miss the first league game because of suspension.”