Phil Parkinson has been chatting about his new striker Aiden O'Brien and how he can operate in a number of attacking positions. “Aiden is a player who can play up top or in behind the striker,” he said. “The system we played last season, the 3-4-3, he can play in one of those number ten roles where Lynden Gooch and Chris Maguire played. He gives us a lot of options, he's a versatile attacking player. At Millwall he played quite often on the left of a 4-4-2, but sees himself more as a striker. Even from that position, he always chipped in with goals and in the year they won promotion from League One he got a good tally, all from open play. I think he's a player who is ready for another challenge, he's eager for a fresh start and we've been really pleased with him so far in the first days [of training].”

Parkinson also welcomed the return of Bailey Wright: “Bailey is a very good player but he's also a character and offers very good leadership qualities,” Parkinson said. “That's so important. He's a good role model in and around the training ground, who has captained teams before at Championship level. Managers are always saying they need more leaders, those types are hard to find and Bailey fits firmly into that category. He's going to be a key player for us.”

Phil Parkinson is hoping that Jack Diamond and Elliot Embleton can finally get a chance to prove themselves this coming season. “Another bonus for us as staff is that Jack Diamond has come back in this week and looked really good,” Parkinson said. “Elliot Embleton has trained and each day he is looking better and better. So those two are kind of bonus players for us as well. The lads have come back in great shape and I’m so pleased. The first 10 days of training have been good and we’re building them up steadily. During this stage of pre-season, the sports science department is so crucial. It’s a period where the work is geared more towards fitness and as the weeks progress, it’s obviously more football.”