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Kevin Gallacher column: Team spirit crucial to Blackburn Rovers camp
IT was a good move by Blackburn to announce that Dickson Etuhu and DJ Campbell have left the club before training starts again today.
The first day of pre-season is a happy one, an exciting one.
So, as I wrote in my column last week, the last thing you need are players around the club who have been told they can leave.
As there is a chance they could upset the applecart and the way they carry themselves could rub off on other people.
I’m sure Gary Bowyer will want to keep the camaraderie that has developed between his players and the club deciding to cut their losses with Dickson, DJ and David Goodwillie should help with that.
Now all the focus is on the first day of pre-season.
As a player you are always excited.
You’ll have been keeping yourself ticking over, been on holiday and knocked around the house, but come early July you’re just itching to get back into everything again.
Don’t get me wrong there is a little bit of anxiety in there, too, because you know how hard it’s going to be in the first few weeks.
For the first season of my professional career, in Scotland, I never saw a ball for the first two weeks of pre-season training.
You name the type of running – long, short and everything in between – and we did it.
But when I came down to England it was different as I was running with the ball all the time.
And for me that’s the best way to do it because if there’s one thing you can guarantee, it’s that if you get a bunch of footballers together and they’ve not got a ball at their feet, they will moan.
But put a ball in front of them and they will run 10-15 miles with it, no problem.
So the common sense thing to do is give them a ball.
Another aspect of pre-season is getting to know the new faces in your squad and it is good that Gary has managed to bring a couple in as signings do keep you on your toes.
I’m sure there will be more new players to come but I’m not sure Rovers will have much money to play with as getting rid of Dickson, DJ and David will not have come cheap.
So you’ve got to hope that Gary can trawl the market and come up with some good catches again for little money, like he did with winger Craig Conway and striker Rudy Gestede.