JERMAINE EASTER has vowed to return from his summer break fitter and sharper than ever before.
Having scored some important goals for the Lions in the first half of last season, Easter was hampered by suspension and injury after the turn of the year.
That meant he made just six appearances after Ian Holloway's appointment in January, starting only twice.
But with a new one-year contract under his belt, Easter is determined to play a more prominent role in the 2014-15 campaign.
The 32-year-old said: "With regards to Ollie's reign, it all started to go wrong when I got sent off at Southend in the FA Cup.
"That was the worst possible time for something like that to happen because I missed his first three games in charge through suspension.
"When I eventually did get in the team, I went away on international break, came back and got injured just before the run in.
"I didn't play a lot in the second half of the season and it was stop-start for me – it was like that all year really.
"It's very important for me that I have a good pre-season and make a good impression.
"My new deal was triggered by a clause in the contract that Kenny Jackett gave me but Ollie told me within weeks of walking through the door that he wanted me to stay.
"It was pleasing to get everything sorted out and now I can concentrate on working hard over the summer, getting in good nick and coming back injury-free."
Easter is currently on international duty with Wales and says that meeting up with the national side will help him prepare for pre-season.
"You can't replicate football training on your own, so this helps," he said. "I'd had nearly a month off before I met up with Wales and the first few days were really tough – your body feels like it's missed four weeks.
"It's good to have this time with my country because it keeps me ticking over.
"I'll have another three weeks off before pre-season but I always look after myself and hopefully it won't take too long for me to get back into peak condition."
Easter added: "If I can come back super-fit and raring to go, I'm sure that will impress the manager.
"He's definitely going to sign other strikers and we need to sign strikers, but that's not really an issue for me. I'm focused on myself and making sure I can hit the ground running."