Grant Holt is confident Barrow AFC can only reap the benefits of the hard work they are putting in at training.

Player/coach Holt, manager Ady Pennock and fitness coach Lindsay Davis have introduced a new, tougher regime since arriving at Holker Street, with the aim to make them ‘fitter than they have ever been’.

The results have been evident on the pitch, with the Bluebirds picking up four wins from the six games Pennock has been in charge of, having triumphed just twice in their previous 18.

Harry Panayiotou and captain Asa Hall have both spoken about improvements in and around training, with the introduction of team breakfasts before sessions and meals afterwards, and better organisation on match-days as well.

And Holt, who arrived back at Barrow after 14 years away, having played in the Premier League with Norwich City and Aston Villa during the intervening period, sees such changes as key.

He knows there will be ups and downs for a team who were languishing in the National League relegation zone when Pennock arrived – having gone through two managers already this season in Paul Cox and Micky Moore – but is positive the rewards will be reaped for the hard work.

“We know it’s going to be a bit of a roller-coaster and not everything is going to go our way,” said Holt, who has come off the bench four times so far for Barrow since his return to the club last month. “There’s a reason why the lads were down there and why they were scraping along the bottom.

“We’ve looked at it, we’re trying to instil a different belief in them, a different mind-set, we’re trying to get them fitter – fitter than they have ever been – not just in terms of running, but in terms of working as a team, helping your team-mates out and the desire to get back when you don’t think you can sometimes.”

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