“It makes such a difference when you get a proper pre-season under your belt," he added. "Last season was very frustrating with injuries. When you don’t get a full pre-season it means you’re catching up a little bit. I feel good this season and the more the games I play the sharper I feel.
"It was good to get on at Wembley. I managed to play 90 minutes on the Friday [in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial] and played nearly another full game on Sunday. It’s just good to be out there and playing.
“In terms of targets for the season, I just want to be involved in as many games as I can. Centre-back is where I want to play, but my aim is to get some good training done and stay injury-free.”