Rousing captain Kevin Davies is impressed with Bolton Wanderers pre-season preparations ahead of beginning their season in the Championship.
Owen Coyle’s men are heading to Scotland to being their summer tour against Ayr United, and will later face Hamilton Academical and Falkirk.
And the 35-year-old claimed the team have returned refreshed and on a high to return to the Premier League after last season’s disappointment.
"We've had a good week of training so far," Davies told Wanderers’ official website.
He added: "As you expect, it's been a lot of hard work but the lads are looking strong, fresh and very keen. I've been impressed with what I have seen so far.
"There's no easy way of doing it – you have to put the hard work in and build your fitness up.
"It's going to be a demanding season with the amount of games we are going to play but we have a good young squad.
"The enthusiasm has been great and the manager has been pleased with the application shown from everyone so far.
"We've done a lot of the hard work and now we are looking forward to getting into the games in Scotland.
"There will be a progression and everybody will be looking to get some game time. We've a lot of pre-season matches and the manager will want to give everyone a lot of time.
"Come August 18, we will be ready to hit the ground running."
Playing in the second tier will be a relatively unknown experience for Davies who has played all his football in the top flight – aside from a brief stint with Millwall during 2002 after starting his career with Chesterfield.
"I've played most of my football in the Premier League, so it's been a hard summer," Davies added.
"If you look through the squad, there are a number of players who have played at this level. We know what to expect – we'll be going to different places and a lot of teams will be looking for scalps.
"We've got to try and get over the disappointment of last season and look forward. Once you get in among the lads at training, you look forward to the season kicking off.
"It will be interesting and I think we need to get off to a good start. We have three fixtures within the first six days so we have a chance to get points on the board and to set out our stall.
"The fixtures are out, there's a new challenge. The fans are getting behind us and from living in the town I can tell that they are all backing us.
"Meeting people at my children's school and around the Middlebrook, I get talking to a lot of fans.
"They've been telling me about how they have renewed their season ticket and are looking forward to the season.
"The fans are backing us and we will need them throughout what is going to be a long, hard season.
"We have to look after ourselves as we always do and try and win this league or finish in the top two."
Davies made 37 appearances for Bolton last season, netting eight times.