Striker Martyn Waghorn is refreshed and ready to go again as he aims to help Derby County go one step further this time around under new manager Phillip Cocu.
The striker, who scored 13 goals for the Rams last season, has been impressed with the impact the new boss has made so far.
With an illustrious playing career and three Eredivisie titles with PSV to his name, Cocu’s philosophy suits the way the Rams want to play and Waghorn believes it will be a seamless transition under the new manager.
“He is a manager with another wealth of experience,” he told RamsTV. “Going from the previous manager to this one, you couldn’t have asked for a better replacement.
“He has played at the highest level. It’s early doors but he just speaks very well, his knowledge is fantastic and you can just see that he has got a bit about him that he knows the game inside and out. It’s going to be another great year to learn from somebody like himself.
“The staff that he has brought in, Chris and Twan, they have both brought their little sides to it as well so it’s exciting and I’m looking forward to another good year, hopefully.
“He came in from the start and explained how he is, what he wants to do and how he is going to implement that on us as a team going forward.
“In terms of style, it’s not going to be too much different in terms of how we played before. It’s a lot of football, controlling the ball, having a lot of possession and attacking when you can. It is going to be probably more defensively, organisation and positionally-wise, the way he wants to set up.
“We have done a lot of bits and bobs on the training pitch this week and you can see how he wants to play and it’s coming off already.”
After a long and gruelling season last time out, the striker needed to rest and recover following the Play-Off Final against Aston Villa.
With his batteries now recharged, he is more determined than ever to ensure he helps the Rams reach their desired destination come the end of the season.
“It’s physically impossible to keep going week in week out and not have a break,” he said. “Two weeks into the holidays you do start to chomp at the bit to get back but you need the break.
“It’s crucial because the game is so more demanding than what it was. We played around 60 games last year and all of it was high level, it was high intensity, the demands that the manager and the players put on each other was high and it was a long old season.
“It was time to rest up, rest a few niggles that you do have but it makes you hungrier, makes you want to win more and achieve more when you do come back in.”
A compartment of last season which was very evident was the relationship between the players, staff and fans, and that is something the 29-year-old hopes will continue heading into the new campaign.
“It’s vastly important that you get the fans on side,” Waghorn commented. “I think at times, during the course of the season, we felt the impact the fans can have going into both home and away games. We need them as much as possible.
“They are the driving force in the last five or 10 minutes of the game and really spur us on. Hopefully we can have that bond and interaction.
“It’s good for the club and it’s also good for the city and everyone involved as it gives it that little edge.”
The pre-season training camp in Florida has allowed that spirit amongst the players to grow. There has also been a lot of hard work in terms of building fitness.
With the first pre-season fixture against Sarasota Metropolis taking place this evening (7pm local time in Flordia), the striker cannot wait to get started
“It’s nice to get the games underway,” he said. “You can do as much training as you want on the pitch but there is nothing that comes down to it more than a bit of match fitness and match sharpness.
“The first one is coming up and I’m really looking forward to it. Just get your head down, try and start well and as a striker, get yourself off the mark or do as best as you can.
“Once the games get going, you know the first game of the season comes sooner rather than later.”