New Mansfield Town midfielder Kevan Hurst is sweating his way through one of the toughest pre-seasons of his career – and enjoying every minute of it.
Hurst, who again caught the eye with his classy display in Saturday’s 1-1 friendly draw at Alfreton Town, said: “I have really enjoyed it.
“The gaffer has got a good plan and I like the fact he knows exactly what he wants from his players.
“It makes our jobs easier because we can go away and focus on what needs to be done.
“In terms of fitness, the lads are really fit and really enthusiastic, so we are looking forward to the actual season getting going now.
“It’s tough. I have had tough pre-seasons and this is definitely up there.
“But I think the running aspect is coming down now and it’s balancing off towards more football and the games are really putting us in a good place. So I think we’ll be ready for when the season comes.”
On the bruising game at Alfreton, he added: “That was definitely a good work-out. It was more realistic and what we are going to come up against.
“Alfreton are a good outfit. They are strong up top and like to get the ball forwards as do Newport, so it was a good work-out for us.
“I thought today we were found wanting defensively in our shape.
“We didn’t deal with things as quickly as we should have done, which led to their goal.
“But there were some positives there. We played some nice stuff at times and just need to get a smooth balance of each.”