Joey Barton is looking forward to contributing to the cause after an intensive mini pre-season.
Barton signed a one-year deal five weeks ago, but was playing catch-up in terms of his fitness.
I’m really enjoying the environment and really enjoying the football club and hopefully I can start to contribute on the pitch for the ladsJoey Barton
But he made the bench at Derby last Monday, and played 35 minutes as a substitute in the defeat to Reading at Turf Moor on Saturday.
His introduction lifted the crowd and the performance, and he is in line to start at Rotherham United tomorrow night.
He said: “It was nice to get on and help muck in with the team. I need match games and fitness comes as a part of that.
“I’m glad to get it out of the way in terms of now being back in the picture for the first team squad, which is, I think, what I’m here for.
“It would have been better to cap it with a victory but hopefully my full debut will give me that.
“It probably came a little bit quicker because I missed the whole of pre-season, so, to be fair to the staff at the football club, they’ve worked incredibly hard to get me in this position so quickly.
“They’ve totally governed it and taken control.
“They’ve got a really good sports science and medical staff here, and I’ve been governed by them and they’ve managed to get me into the shape I’m in. I’ve still got a bit of work to do. I’ll probably need a couple of extra sessions when the international break comes, but that’s what I’ve got to do. I missed the whole of pre-season, so I do have to play catch-up.
“I’m looking forward to it. I’m really enjoying the environment and really enjoying the football club and hopefully I can start to contribute on the pitch for the lads.
“I’m really looking forward to Rotherham now.”