Middlesbrough midfielder Barry Robson has defended manager Gordon Strachan's decision to take his players on a gruelling training week at La Manga.
The Boro squad are currently based in Spain where Strachan and his coaching staff are putting the players through their paces at a time when other players up and down the country are on holiday.
Robson told the club's official website: "It's been hard work. But you have to take into consideration that we never performed last year. If coming over here for a week of hard graft gives us a head start on our opponents in the Championship, it will have been a really worthwhile trip."
He added: "We know expectations will be high next season and rightly so. We know we have to do better and we can't wait for the action to start again in August. The lads have worked ever so hard over here in Spain this week. Believe me, everyone has gone the extra mile."
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