Just 79 days after we won a truly fantastic promotion at Wembley, the lads are back in serious action tonight.
The Capital One Cup first round at Preston North End might not whet the appetite of every fan, especially with the Championship waiting just around the corner.
But I can tell you the players will be delighted to have a proper game on the agenda, rather than having another friendly over this last weekend to get in some final prep for the League campaign.
When I played, I have to say I hated the pre-season games. I know you need them to get fitness and then sharpness, but for me it was always more about trying to avoid injury, and I’m sure a lot of the current lads feel the same.
The match against Barcelona B was the first time I’d had chance to see most of our new signings in action and I have to say I think they’ve settled into the club very well.
I thought the performance was decent, the players were looking sharp and confident and I think everything is looking positive for the start of the season.
Winning promotion was just a great way to finish last season and, with no disrespect to anyone in League I, I think we are a lot more excited about Cardiff, Nottingham Forest and Burnley on the fixture list than we would have been with Yeovil Town, Bournemouth, Brentford and the like.
When you look at the division we are in, it’s fantastic, with some of the biggest names in the English game.
It’s not going to be easy, clearly, but we’ve been working for over a decade to get to this level and it’s fantastic to have some great matches to look forward to.
Highly competitive. That’s how I would describe it, and I think a lot of teams will come to the stadium to attack us, rather than sit back like they have done in League I and see what they can get.
I have no problem with that.
Last year the only fixtures we were looking for were the two Sheffield clubs. This time there isn’t a dull game on the whole programme.
The atmosphere should be great at every home game and, after going up, I don’t see any reason why we can’t ride the crest of a wave.
And we all know what the reward is if we can do well. I certainly don’t think we have anything to fear.