Preston North End skipper John Welsh believes he and his team-mates will reap the benefits of the work they have done in pre-season when the new season gets under way.
The 30-year-old revealed the club’s new fitness coach Tom Little has had a positive effect on the squad.
“Pre-season has gone really well,” Welsh said. “It has been very tough.
“We have worked really hard. There is a new fitness coach, Tom Little, and his methods and sessions are different than what we had last season.”
And even boss Simon Grayson’s methods have changed, revealed Welsh.
“This season, the gaffer hasn’t been as lenient on us,” he said.
“Last year when we got really tired he would see that and cut the session short – this year he hasn’t! He has let us go through the pain and agony, and that is beneficial for us.
“We all want to be fitter, stronger and quicker than last year.
“I have read that the gaffer wants five per cent more from everyone.
“If that means going through some pain now in order to be up at the top of the league in May, bring on the pain and hard work.”