First of all, I’d like to say how pleased I am to be asked to write a weekly column for the Mail again.

I think the relationship between the club and our local newspaper is an important one and is still as strong as it always has been.

I like to challenge myself by putting my thoughts on the week down on paper and then just have to trust that the Mail’s James Roberts is better at editing my grammar than he is at giving player ratings!

Hopefully the headlines on Monday are positive after our first game of the season at Derby.

The fixture list was published on the day the players flew out to Spain and there was a real buzz about running out at Pride Park on the opening weekend.

There will be 30,000 people there and, as we expected, United fans snapped up every ticket they could.

Derby have an amazing history and after a troubled year or two they’ll see Saturday as a chance to reset and start the climb back to where there should be.

They have recruited well, bringing in a lot of players who should really be playing in the Championship.

But we feel we have done the same: Marcus Browne, Ciaron Brown, Yanic Wildscut, Sam Baldock, Jodi Jones and Josh Murphy have all played at a higher level for most of their careers and are desperate to get back to the second tier as quickly as possible.

Add in Ed McGinty, a goalkeeper with huge potential, and we’ve had a good summer.

We also still have our captain Elliott Moore, Matty Taylor will be pushing himself up the list of all-time top-scorers for the club – James Henry is close behind and training has been fantastic this week, with everyone pushing to start on Saturday.

Half the fun for the travelling fans will be guessing the first line-up. I know that whoever I pick will give it everything, with those who miss out willing them on and only wanting the best for us.

The first result of the season will not define the next ten months. There will be plenty of twists and turns.

Enjoy the ride…

I HOPE everyone has been enjoying the podcast ‘The Moment of Truth’ on BBC Sounds, which follows me and Rotherham boss Paul Warne in the final three months of last season.

When I was approached I was in two minds about it. Did I really want people to know what happens in the heat of the moment or in the heart of a dressing room?

As it turns out, people have been very kind about it and the response has been really positive.

We tried to focus on the human side of being a football manager – I wasn’t aware they were going to ask my mum for her thoughts on me being a manager!

MY hope is that it gives an insight and maybe helps one or two people discuss mental health, which is a big part of the podcast.