NEW signing Lazar Stojsavljevic has hailed the team spirit within the camp, which he feels will help Newport County AFC enjoy another successful season.

The young centre-back, signed from Championship club Millwall last month, has been impressed with the togetherness in the first few days of pre-season training.

And Stojsavljevic believes this week’s training camp in Murcia will help him and the other new arrivals integrate fully into the group.

The 21-year-old Serbian told iFollowExiles: “The lads are great. They’ve made us new boys feel welcome within the squad, which has helped. I’m enjoying it.

“It helps massively I think when you start at a new club on the first day of pre-season. You get to meet everyone early and that does help.

South Wales Argus:

“The lads and the gaffer have made me feel so welcome.

“They talk to you all the time to make sure that you feel welcome within the team.

“They’ve helped with anything I’ve needed, explained how the club works – what you can do and what you can’t do. They’ve been really helpful on a day-to-day basis.

“You can tell from the first day at this football club that everyone is in it together and everyone has each other’s backs,” he added.

“And we see the trip [to Spain] as a chance for the lads to get to know each other even more.

“It’s five days, we’ll be spending every day with each other, so I’ll learn more about them and they’ll learn about me.

“It will help us gel together as a group, which is something we’ll need for the season ahead.”

Stojsavljevic is one of four defenders to join the club this summer.

Dan Leadbitter, Marvel Ekpiteta and Kyle Howkins can all play in central defence, although Leadbitter’s preferred position is at right-back.

Stojsavljevic will also be competing with last season’s captain Mark O’Brien and with Mickey Demetriou, who is close to agreeing a new two-year contract, for a place in the heart of the Exiles defence.

“It keeps you on your toes all the time knowing there’s other players in your position within the squad,” he said.

“It brings the best out of you because you know you have to perform well in games and training to play on a matchday.

“I see it as healthy competition, which is good.

“Within this squad, we know that in every game and training session, we’ve got to be at the top of our game.

“There are players here who play the same position and can play just as well, if not better. You just have to keep playing well to get in and then stay in the team.”

South Wales Argus:

With competition for place likely to be fierce, Stojsavljevic is aiming to get himself in peak condition ahead of the big kick-off at home to Mansfield Town on August 3.

“Fitness-wise and things like that, we’ll be training really hard to get prepared for the season,” he added.

“Pre-season is about avoiding any injuries if possible and getting the fitness levels up – getting used to game time and working on things.

“But I don’t think anyone likes losing. That is not the right attitude to have because even if it’s a friendly, we have to go in with a winning mindset.

“Winning is the most important thing and the start of the season will set the tone for the remainder.”

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