Derby County will be hoping to avoid another relegation battle during the upcoming campaign and will be intending to prove any doubters wrong come August 7th.
The Rams have set up camp at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot this week and are using their time in Surrey to prepare for their first pre-season friendly on Sunday against Manchester United.
In what promises to be an exciting contest, it will be a huge assessment of where the club are at and what needs to be done before the Championship season kicks off.
The Rams returned to the club’s training facility at the start of July and are now entering what is believed to be the hardest week of pre-season in Surrey.
Speaking to Rams TV, and as reported by Derbyshire Live, Derby’s head of performance Luke Jenkinson spoke of the importance of this week and about the facilities they have at Pennyhill Park: “This is the third week of their pre-season programme and the hardest we’ve got, leading to the game on Sunday.
“This week we’ll end up doing close to four games worth of training, loads for the guys. Being away gives us the opportunity to have more sessions, but also to recover and to eat together.” He added.
“We’re in a world-class place and even though we’ve stayed in England this year (and not gone abroad), I’d argue there’s nowhere better for us to be right now.
“Some of the greatest teams have been here, England were here leading into the Euros, so we’ve got a lovely place to come, a lovely place to train, an excellent pitch, excellent gym, so we’ll make the most of it.”
Pre-season is a typically gruelling few weeks of testing the body in preparation for the season ahead, but it is vitally important for players and coaches alike.
The facilities that Derby are being exposed to are of the highest quality and that will certainly aid their progression ahead of their season opener against Huddersfield.
Of course, the Manchester United fixture will be a big opportunity to understand where they are as a club. As well as testing fitness levels, it gives Rooney a chance to try things from a tactical perspective.
It is not a game that anyone will read much into (in regard to the score-line), instead, it is about readjusting to the physical demands of football.