Pre Heerenveen

Jon McLaughlin has been previewing today’s visit of Dutch Eredivisie side Heerenveen. “I expect it to be another tough game against a team that will be very good with the ball and comfortable in possession. Like we saw in the games in Portugal we will fancy ourselves to match that test and to try and play football ourselves. I’m expecting it to be a good game and it needs to be for us to get a lot out of it a week before the start of the season. This is the one where everyone has to gear up to put in a proper display. It’s a week before the first game of the season so players are going to need to make sure they are fully up and running or putting something in the gaffer’s mind so he makes those decisions over who starts in that first league game. The shackles need to come off – it’s going to have to be a full-on fixture. You can't be worried about hurting yourself or just getting what you want out of it. You have to treat it like it's the real deal.”

McLaughlin also spoke about the Portuguese games: "It was a very good trip. A solid week of training and I think we got a lot out of it as a group. It's always good to get some minutes into the legs during the friendlies. Obviously, you build fitness in training, but it's never the same as the real thing. It doesn't feel like we've had too long away so it didn't feel like too much of a shock to the system and I didn't feel too rusty, so yeah, it's been good to be back and get some game time against good opposition. It helped the new lads integrate into the group and for the gaffer to show what he wants from us this season. Last year we went to Portugal much earlier into pre-season, so that time is much more of an intense fitness week whereas this time we had two good games. It was still very tough and we were really put through it, but it wasn't just fitness, we were also working on the football side of things and get everyone on the same page and gelling. So yeah, we got a lot out of it and had a good laugh as a group as well."

In other news, Bryan Oviedo is expected to complete his move to Club Brugge early next week…