STEVEN Reid thinks Burnley will be one of the fittest teams in the Premier League after a gruelling training camp ahead of tomorrow’s opening pre-season match in Austria.
The Clarets, who play FC Grossklein tomorrow at 4pm British time, were known as arguably the fittest team in the Championship last season as they secured promotion to the top flight.
Many players said the work they did in pre-season paved the way for that success, with a training camp in Ireland featuring a particularly arduous day including tyre lifting.
The squad have undergone similarly testing activities this week in Austria when Dyche again reserved one particular day for the most difficult fitness work, with hill running in the summer heat among the tasks.
Burnley new boy Reid says it was one of the toughest days in his 16 years as a professional.
“Wednesday was a really tough day, the gaffer’s day, the toughest one I’ve had for a really long time,” said the 33-year-old, who has arrived from West Bromwich Albion.
“It was a mixture of individual and team events. You’ve got to pull people through when lads are struggling.
“It’s about getting your head down and having that mental strength and toughness to get through the session, but when you finish it off you’re buzzing that you’ve done it.
“It’s tough but it’s really worthwhile and it gets that team bond going.
“The lads had been talking about it since the start of pre-season, I think it was one of the focus points of last pre-season - the team bonding that went on, including that session.
“The lads saw the rewards that they got last season, so there’s no reason why we can’t replicate that this season.
“There’s no doubt we’re going to be one of the fittest teams in the league, that’s for sure, and that can go a long way to getting results in the Premier League.
“If you’re the fittest in the league and you’re well organised, you’ve got half a chance of having a successful season.
“I think that’s going to be the case.”
Reid, who is set to make his Burnley debut tomorrow along with Lukas Jutkiewicz, Matt Taylor, Marvin Sordell and Matt Gilks, previously worked with the Clarets’ head of sports science Mark Howard at Blackburn Rovers.
“I worked with him for a couple of seasons at Blackburn when I was going through a lot of rehab with my knee injuries,” Reid said.
“He was a big part of my fitness work and I know how good he is. It’s great that he’s here and all the lads speak really highly of him.
“I know the gaffer values his opinion as well. He was obviously a big part of the physical conditioning of the lads last season and I’ve seen that first hand in the last 10 days.
“Obviously the training for the first 10 to 12 days is the lead-in to the games and then you start getting your match fitness.
“After tomorrow the pre-season games come thick and fast, so we’re looking forward to getting the first game under our belts.”
Burnley open their campaign live in front of the Sky Sports cameras at home to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea on Monday, August 18.
The Clarets’ team bonding continued this week with an initiation ceremony for the new arrivals.
“I’m settling in well,” Reid said. “We did our initiation songs, which I think went pretty well.
“There were five of us which makes it a little bit easier, it’s part and parcel of team bonding and one or two were better than others!
“I went for an old classic, a bit of Otis Redding, it was more for the senior members of the team like Duffo and Matty Taylor, I don’t think most of the younger ones knew the song!
“Ultimately we’re focused on that first game of the season against Chelsea and hopefully getting off to a decent start.
“Hopefully we can start well tomorrow and have a really good pre-season in terms of results, performances wise and fitness.
“Then hopefully we’ll get off to a flyer.”