FIT-AGAIN Paul Robinson believes "ambitious" Millwall should be aiming for a top-half finish in the Championship under new manager Steve Lomas.
Robinson made his first appearance in a Lions shirt since last September in a 2-0 friendly win over Crawley on Saturday and is determined to play his part in a successful season.
And the 31-year-old sees plenty of reasons for optimism – from Lomas' fresh approach to pre-season training to the Northern Irishman's summer signings.
Robinson said: "The target remains the same – we want to be a top-half Championship side. You can see with the way the new manager has been backed that we're still an ambitious club who want to achieve things.
"There are probably more new faces to come in yet so we'll have a competitive squad. The manager has been very clear about not wanting to be faced with a lack of goals this season.
"He's been very active in the transfer market – he wants to bring forward players in, have options and players that can get him goals and win games.
"The change of manager has been good for everyone – everyone's been shaken up and given a fresh start. All the players are starting from the same base and working to impress him.
"Pre-season has been a lot more football-based. With Kenny Jackett you do a lot of hard work, running-wise, whereas with the new manager a lot of that hard work is done with the ball, which makes it a lot more enjoyable and game-related.
"We've done a lot of hard work over the last three weeks and now we're into the friendlies."
Robinson's return to fitness could not have been better-timed, with his testimonial against Rayo Vallecano right around the corner on July 27.
He said: "As long as I'm playing some part of it – I'm not sure about 90 minutes – then I'll be happy, because that's what I've been working hard towards.
"I was delighted to be back out there against Crawley, being involved and playing again. As you could see I was rusty and I've got a lot of work to do, but that's the fun part I think.
"My body doesn't feel too bad – my feet felt like they were stuck to the ground a few times, but it was great to be playing again after such a long time out.
"Now it is about getting my positional sense and timing back, and working on relationships between players. All of that will come with time I'm sure.
"The manager and Bobby Bacic have been very good about managing me. They are making sure things are done sensibly and methodically, so that now I'm back I'll stay back."
The centre-back will do well to dislodge Danny Shittu or Mark Beevers from the side, given the duo's successful partnership at the back last season, but he is relishing that challenge.
"If you are going to be part of a good club there's going to be competition for places," Robinson said. "Mark and Danny had an excellent season last year but the challenge is there for me and Karleigh Osborne to get ourselves back in the team.
"If you are playing, then you know you've got to be on your game every week because there's someone there waiting to take your place."