J-Rod: It's a lovely place to be

ALBION's newest recruit Jay Rodriguez has been thrown in at the deep end - straight onto the Baggies' pre-season tour of Austria after putting pen to paper on a four-year deal at The Hawthorns. But despite a gruelling schedule, the frontman says Albion's Austrian retreat is a lovely place to be.

Just three days into the tour, 'J-Rod' is already fully aware of how demanding a Tony Pulis pre-season can be, with three sessions per day for the majority of the eight-day trip.

And the 27-year-old highlighted just how difficult those hill climbs really are.

"It's tough but it's good.

"This is what pre-season is all about, getting fit and preparing yourself for the season ahead.

"The hills and our training schedule test your character. It's a mental and a physical challenge so there's no time to ease off. We know the rewards will come later."

Rodriguez also pointed out that there were few more picturesque locations to train than the Baggies' Austrian retreat.

"The views, the facilities and the hotel are fantastic.

"It's a lovely place to be, even if you don't appreciate it when you're running up those hills!

"You only recognise how amazing everything is on your way back down!"

And Jay was quick to praise his Baggies teammates for the way they have welcomed him into the fold since his switch from Southampton.

"It can always be a worry when you join a new group, but every single one of the lads has made me feel welcome and I appreciate that.

"We've got a great bunch here and I'm looking forward to getting to know them even better."