Boro head coach Jonathan Woodgate is delighted after being able to spend a full week back with his players on the Rockliffe training pitches.
The Boro squad returned to training on Monday, in accordance with the protocols laid down by the EFL, and have now completed the first full week since mid-March.
“It’s been good to have everyone back,” said Woodgate.
“The players have been working on individual programmes at home during the lockdown period, and they’ve all come back in great shape, but there’s nothing like getting people together again.
“We have worked within the framework we’ve been given – we’ve been able to plan for this situation and to ensure that we can make the most of it.
“There’s has been an emphasis on fitness work, it is like a mini pre-season because we haven’t played a game since we won at Charlton almost three months ago, but we’ve had a good balance with ball work.”
The second stage of training – group work and contact – has been re-introduced at Premier League clubs, and Woodgate is hoping the Championship will follow suit sooner rather than later.
“That’s the next step for us,” he said.
“As a club, we’ve made no secret of the fact that we want to resume the season if everything is deemed to be safe to do so, and contact training will obviously be another key step forward towards us returning.
“I have to say the response of the players has been terrific. They couldn’t wait to get back and get stuck in again. Welfare and safety is obviously the biggest priority in this, but we’re all understanding of the situation.”
The Premier League now has an official restart date of June 17, and anticipation is high that a decision on the potential resumption of the Championship season will be ratified soon.
“All along we’ve been guided by the government and the football authorities,” added Woodgate.
“We’ll continue to do that. There’s been a lot of speculation about this and that, and when or if we will return, but those decisions will be made with safety first and foremost and we will follow the advice we’re given.
“For us, it’s good to be back, we’ve had a good week, and we look forward to seeing the next step.”