Goalkeeper On Portugal Training Sessions
Matt Gilks says that the players are certainly being put through their paces in the warm Portuguese weather.
The Seasiders have had two training sessions a day in the Algarve, as well as plenty of fitness exercises to contend with. The backdrop for the work is once again ideal, however.
"It's extremely warm out here so we've got to be careful with the times we train and that's early in the morning and evenings," he said. "We've come out here to get the fitness and the heat and we're certainly being put through it."
The 31-year-old hasn't had that long an off-season though, with international duty calling earlier this month.
"I didn't really stop after the season, I had to obviously keep myself fit for going away with Scotland because that level is another step up. I had to keep myself in good shape and that's what I did.
"It was a tough week away to be quite honest, in Scotland and Croatia. We got a good result at the end of it and I came home happy and had a couple of weeks off before returning to the club."
Still in reasonably good shape, Gilks no longer worries about the demands of pre-season and has adapted his body to suit.
"As I get older I stop worrying about it so much. As a kid you had to come back and be up there with the pros and you're still trying to make your mark on the game," he admitted. "It's about managing it and as you do get older, with more experience, you know how your body feels and what you've got to do to keep your fitness up."
One change to his training ground routine is the arrival of Matt Murray in Portugal, with the former Wolves man taking sessions with the keepers.
"He's a great bloke. I've met him on a few occasions just to say 'hello' really but I'm getting to know him and he's good man and a good coach. You wouldn't argue with him and tell him you don't want to do something because he's a man-beast," he joked.