Date: 18th July 2006 at 11:21pm
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Following a nightmare pre-season last term that lasted just 10 minutes, United winger Steve Stone says there are no excuses for not being 100% fit by the start of the season.

An Achilles injury forced Stone out for the majority of last season, with the winger not making his Leeds debut until April 22nd, when he came on as a substitute in the 1-0 home victory against Crewe Alexandra.

Having put the disappointment of last seasons play-off final defeat to Watford behind him, the former England international has been training by himself through the summer and enjoyed a problem free return to Thorpe Arch last Monday.

Stone told the Yorkshire Evening Post: ‘At the back end of last season I was playing catch-up all the time. I tried to put myself in a position where I could help the team for half an hour here and there, but it was always going to be a big ask.

‘When I come to the start of next season I want to be 100 per cent fit. There are no excuses this time round – I’ve trained the whole summer by myself. I’ll do pre-season and if it goes wrong now then it’s my fault. It’s down to me.’

Speaking to leedsunited.com Stone added ‘I feel fit enough, I`m raring to go and I can`t wait for this season to start.

‘What I’m hoping to get is a good pre-season, play enough games and do enough training so that when I come to the start of the season I’m 100% fit, as simple as that.’

 

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