Newcastle United youngster Lubo Satka has admitted he is fighting for his future.
The Slovakian is desperate to impress Magpies boss Rafa Benitez, knowing he has just 12 months left on his contract.
It’s the last year of my contract so I’m basically fighting for a new deal.
The 20-year-old has been on Tyneside four years, but has just one first team appearance under his belt, a substitute appearance under John Carver in the ill-fated FA Cup defeat against Leicester City last year.
He went on loan to League Two outfit York City last season, but struggled to make an impact, playing just six games between January and the end of the season.
And the defender know he must hit the ground running when the players return to training at the beginning of next month - which is why he’s already started with his fitness work.
“I went home for a couple of weeks straight after the season finished and I did a bit of running and training, but I tried to rest my legs a bit,” Satka said.
“But now is the time to start working again to get ready for the pre-season.
“I’ve been able to use the facilities at my old club, Dubnica, to train. Their season has just finished and I’ve been doing some individual stuff in the gym, and some running.
“It’s the last year of my contract so I’m basically fighting for a new deal and to try to impress the manager.
“Pre-season is tough so you want to come back ready. I think it’s the same for everyone - all the other boys will be doing some work while they’re off.
“But if you want to impress, you’ve got to do more than everyone else and see what happens.
“I’m looking forward to getting back. I haven’t been playing for Newcastle for a while - I was out on loan which was good but also frustrating as well, because of York’s results - and I haven’t seen the lads for a while.”
Satka admits he will enjoy meeting up with his team-mates all the more if Slovakia manage to get one over England in tonight’s Euro 2016 Group B clash.
“Just before the tournament started, I spoke to Freddie (Woodman) and he said if Slovakia beat England he’ll wear a Slovakia shirt to training for two weeks in a row,” he told the club’s official website.
“So I’m hoping we can win so I can take the Mick out of them - but obviously if we lose, I’ll probably get the Mick taken out of me.
“I always thought it was going to be a tough group for all four teams, and one which any two teams could qualify from, but if Slovakia could get through to the knockout stages that would be a big achievement.
“Obviously England are favourites but I think our players will go into it with a big determination to show that we can do well against teams like England.”