Jake Wright says he is already feeling the benefits of Oxford United ’s revamped pre-season training programme this summer.

The U’s have invested in sports science during the close season, hiring Alasdair Lane as a full-time strength and conditioning coach.

Players are being monitored more accurately than before as the club aim to make improvements in fitness to reduce injuries across the squad, which proved costly last season.

Wright, United’s skipper, has backed the changes and believes they are beginning to have an effect.

He said: “Al’s come in and it’s been really good.

“He’s brought a few new things in and changed some others – it’s been hard work, but we’ve been doing a lot of football work.

“It’s not just miles and miles of running, because I don’t think anyone gets anything out of that, it’s all about what we need for games.

“The boys have all got separate targets to hit, which is we’ve been doing, and they are getting stronger and stronger.”

A key element of the preparation for the new season is the ten-day tour in the United States.

Wright enjoyed the trip 12 months ago and is optimistic it will have a similar impact on team spirit this year.

He said: “We’re lucky, the lads all appreciate it and we really like it. I definitely noticed the benefits (last year), because you spend so much time with each other.

“In Oxford, you have your dinner and then go, but here you’re with everyone literally 24 hours a day.

“You get to know each other better, especially the new boys, so you get to know what they like and what they don’t like – it brings the team really close together.”