EACH player in the Swindon Town squad is being individually assessed by Paolo Di Canio as the Robins boss tries to determine his first-choice starting line-up for the 2012/13 campaign.
New signing Tommy Miller, who is one of 24 contracted players – plus trialists Paul Mooney and Simone Materazzi – training with Di Canio in the searing heat of Lake Garda at present, has revealed that the Town boss is taking his time to run the rule over each of his charges in turn during pre-season.
And Miller said the camp in northern Italy has been a gruelling but thoroughly worthwhile experience.
He said: “He (Di Canio) has got a lot of players to work with so he’s trying to get round everyone individually but he’s set us up in teams with a 4-4-2 formation.
“Obviously he wants hard work, he wants you to keep the ball and he wants you to attack so I’m looking forward to it.
“The work’s been hard but it’s something you’ve got to do every pre-season.
“It’s tough, you enjoy it when it’s done and knowing that you’ve done it and completed it all. But it’s something you’ve got to do.
“It gets you fit and gets you ready.
“Obviously the sun’s beaming down and running at the best of times is not pretty but it’s got to be done and we’re getting through it well.”
Miller has only been a Swindon player for a little more than a fortnight, and he stressed that the trip to Di Canio’s native country has been a positive bonding experience.
“I’m slowly getting there, I’ve got to know most of the lads. There’s still a couple I haven’t really spoken to as much as the others but they seem a great set of lads and I’ve settled in well,” he said.
“I’m rooming with the captain Cads (Paul Caddis). He’s a good lad and we get on quite well.
“It gets all the lads together. You’re working very hard together.”
Town began their pre-season campaign with a 9-1 victory over a local select XI at their hotel training base last night, and Miller accepted that it can sometimes be difficult for players to motivate themselves for matches which have nothing riding on them.
However, with the depth of quality in the Swindon squad at present, he insisted there are plenty of other incentives to remain wary of in the build-up to the new term, which begins next month.
“It can be (difficult) because obviously there’s no real points or anything like that but you do it for yourself,” he said.
“You get as much out of the game as you can – whether it’s fitness, getting on the ball or passing it around – you get what you can out of these games and hopefully that’s what we’re doing.
“Every day in training there’s people watching and you’ve got to try and impress in training, never mind in games, but that’s what you’ve got to do.”