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Ciaran Clark wants the season to start

“It was a little bit of an up and down season. There were parts where we did well and parts where we had a rough patch. Florian and Jamaal put in a fantastic partnership together and the results showed that. It was near enough impossible for the manager to change the team when they were playing that well. We have a good bunch of lads here though and everybody understands that. Everybody works hard in training and I think that’s the major thing. You try to put as much pressure on the lads that are starting as possible. You try to give the manager something to think about. That’s all we can do again this season. Everybody has to graft because there is great competition in the squad and everybody wants a spot in that first game.

“It’s been a good couple of weeks. It’s been nice to get back into the swing of things and obviously for all the lads to get going again. It’s a time of year to get your fitness up and iron the creases out. We have had a couple of tough games, especially against Porto. It was a real grind for us. It was a good defensive display from the whole team. Everybody worked hard and there were a couple of good saves from the keeper. Yes, we did get lucky a couple of times but I think when you work hard you are due a little bit of luck. We look forward to the next game against SC Braga but are counting down the days until the season starts.

“Porto are a top European side and history shows that. The atmosphere at the stadium was there and the fans were right behind us. It was a great test for us. Porto was a good test for us with the early part of the season in mind. We play a lot of the top sides in the first period and we’ll take the positives from the Porto game and try to improve in the next one. We must try to keep getting our fitness up.”

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