Defender Curtis Nelson has described Derby County’s week-long training camp in Spain as ‘tough, but enjoyable’.

Paul Warne’s squad have been based in Alicante since last Sunday and they have been put through their paces in a series of gruelling training sessions throughout their time on foreign soil with the 2023/24 season just three weeks away from getting started.

Their stay in the southeast of Spain will conclude with a pre-season friendly against Sky Bet League Two side Salford City at the Pinatar Arena in Murcia on Saturday (11am kick-off UK time).

Nelson, who joined the Rams last month on a two-year deal after spending the last four years in the Championship with Cardiff City and later Blackpool, says the intense training sessions in the heat will benefit the side further down the line.

“We’ve had a tough week and I knew it would be, but it has been so humid and we’ve been sweating buckets,” he told RamsTV. “If we can it out here then we should be alright when it’s cold and wet in the winter!

“It’s been tough, but enjoyable in a weird way. You can’t not enjoy working hard and while your legs can be in bits, the feeling afterwards when we’re travelling home on Sunday will all be worth it.

“We’ve covered massive distances at a high intensity and the sessions we’ve done have been unbelievable.

“I didn’t have an off-season plan from the club as I didn’t sign until the summer but the lads that were here last year have come back so fit and sharp.”

Previewing the meeting with Salford, the 30-year-old added: “It is another chance to get some minutes in the legs and that’s what we’re looking for.

“It’s good to get those movements and sharpness back into your body and also become accustomed to each other as a team and how the gaffer wants us to play.”

Nelson is one of seven new signings to have come through the door in recent weeks as Warne shapes his squad for what everyone connected with the club hopes will be a promotion challenge.

An experienced player with over 500 games under his belt, the centre-back is already feeling at home in the dressing room.

“I feel I am settling in well,” he said. “The lads are class and the staff are brilliant.

“It’s been good to be away with the lads this week and it has been intense. We’ve been together all week and it has been nice to learn about the group on and off the pitch, definitely more so than you would during a regular week, with plenty more time to chat.

“We’ve had a good week out here and now we’re looking for the to the Salford game and everything else we’ve got to come.”