Hull City boss Steve Bruce has expressed delight with his players' condition as they begin preparations for the new Premier League campaign.
The KC Stadium outfit are currently readying themselves for a return to the English top flight, having sealed promotion with a second-place finish in the Championship last term.
And Bruce is confident his team can hit the ground running when the season starts, having seen them return to training in peak fitness.
"All of the players have come back to work in really good shape and they’ve all been doing some work during the break," he told the club's official website.
"That is good to see because they will need to be at their best physically and our aim now is to make sure they get there – this is a vitally important time.
"It’s been a sweltering start to pre-season with the weather and you can imagine how difficult it is for the players in the heat. But it’s vitally important for every player that they get a pre-season under their belt, it’s like money in the bank for them.
"Once you’ve gone through pre-season, you’ve got it stored there. For those that don’t quite get through pre-season, they’re going to be playing catch-up and that is always difficult."
Bruce also predicted that his squad will be ready for the challenge of the Premier League when their pre-season schedule - which kicks off with matches against North Ferriby and Winterton Rangers on Monday - is complete.
"We’re back at work now," he added. "We’ve got seven or eight games in pre-season and everything we do is geared towards five weeks’ time [against Chelsea].
"We’ll get ourselves into the best physical condition we can and I can already see from the way the players have been working this week, there isn’t one of them that has come back out of condition – things have certainly changed and moved on [from the old days].
"These players were a pleasure to work with last season and I’m sure those that proved they were top Championship players will go and make a fist of it in the Premier League because that is what it is all about."