JASON Shackell says there will be no let-up in Burnley’s pre-season preparations, because manager Sean Dyche would not allow it.
The Clarets play their final friendly before taking on the super powers of the Premier League on Monday week.
Verona are the visitors to Turf Moor tomorrow, before the curtain goes up on the 2014/15 top flight season.
All of Dyche’s players will want to stay fit to put themselves in with a chance of being picked by the man dubbed ‘Ginger Mourinho’ when they face the might of Jose Mourinho’s men in their opening game, live on Sky.
But captain Shackell insists there will be no easing off in the build-up.
“I don’t think the gaffer allows us to look as games as, ‘Let’s just get through it’,” said the skipper.
“We’re a week away from the season so the gaffer will want everyone to get right at it and give it everything. Saturday will be a proper game to get us ready for the following Monday.
“I heard I might be playing Luca Toni and that will be a good one.
“It should be a good game and we’ll want to get a good result to make sure we’re ready to go.”
Tomorrow will be the last time Shackell leads the team out of the tunnel before the real action begins, when he will walk out opposite counterpart John Terry.
He admits he has not yet allowed himself too much time to think about the occasion, although expects that will change as kick-off closes in.
“I’ve not thought about walking out of the tunnel on the first game yet but I’m sure that will start coming over the next week – all the excitement is starting to sink in,” said the central defender, who is set to come up against Chelsea new boy Diego Costa, and the new ‘old’ boy Didier Drogba on the opening day.
“It’s more excitement than anything; it’s not really nerves. You know it’s going to be tough but there’s no point in being unrealistic. These are the players that you want to play against and test yourself against.
“It’ll be a tough challenge but we’ll be well prepared.
“We worked hard last year to give ourselves the opportunity to play against some of the best players and teams in the world. It’s something I’m really looking forward to.
“It'll be a good test to see what level we’re at. It’s not really daunting.
“As soon as you get promoted you know you’re going to be coming up against all these players at some point during the season so why not bring them at the start?
“It’s going to be great for the fans, the place will be packed and it’ll be a fun one to get stuck into to start off with.
“The gaffer doesn’t take it easy on us and we’ve been working hard this summer. We take each day as it comes.
“We’ve had some tough, competitive friendlies as well so we’re starting to get our eye on Chelsea now.
“We know it’s edging closer and I’m really excited and looking forward to the challenge.”