Stanley manager John Coleman feels his players are laying the foundations for a successful campaign by working hard in pre-season.
The Reds have already been back in training for over two weeks and play their first friendly, at home to Huddersfield, on Wednesday evening.
Coleman is happy with the fitness base that the squad are establishing.
“I’ve been really pleased with the way pre-season has gone so far to be honest,” said Coley. “The lads have worked ever so hard and there have been no moans and they’ve just got on with it. We’ve had a couple of discussions about where we want to be and how we want to approach it and one of the key things we identified is fitness. That’s something we’ve worked really hard on.
“Last season we had a lot of trialists and there was a lot of upheaval but the season before we had a steady squad to work with from early on so having a settled group isn’t new to us. I think the more the players play for us the more they realise what is required of them and the style of football that we’re going to play. It’s probably going to take less technical work than it has in the past and certainly less work on the shape and such.”
The physical work may have been hard so far but Coleman is keen to stress there’s much more to preparations than just that.
He’s been working on the mental side of the game with his players to prepare them for the rigours of League Two.
“We’re trying to develop and ethos of the lads expecting to do well this season and this is all a big part of it,” he continued. “We want to go into the season full of confidence and determined to achieve something.
“Fitness is important but you have to have more than just fitness or you’d just have a load of Olympic athletes playing wouldn’t you? There are a lot of different facets but if you don’t get the fitness level right it’s hard for all the other aspects to shine through.”