Chris Powell can’t wait to get cracking as Huddersfield Town prepare to return to action following a blank fortnight.
The new manager’s first match at home to Middlesbrough on Saturday marks the start of a set of six key games ahead of the next international break.
Before England tackle San Marino and Estonia looking to build on Monday’s encouraging 2-0 Euro qualifying win in Switzerland, Town will also host Wigan Athletic and Millwall.
And they will travel to Leeds United, a week on Saturday, Wolves and Blackburn Rovers.
Two of the matches, Wigan next Tuesday and Wolves on Wednesday, October 1, fall in midweek.
“The Championship is a relentless division,” said Powell, who led Charlton Athletic to a final position of ninth the season before last.
“Coming up, we have two home games then a big away game in the space of eight days, and we have to be ready.
“There is pressure on the players, mentally and physically, so they have to be able to handle it.”
Powell is a week into the job and is impressed with what he has seen on the PPG Canalside training ground.
“It’s been a ‘getting to know you’ scenario, and everyone has been really welcoming,” said the 45-year-old, who has brought in former Town defender Alex Dyer as his assistant.
“The players have been really receptive to our ideas and methods and I’ve been impressed by the way they have tackled training.
“On what I’ve seen, they deserve to have more points from the first five games (Town have actually accrued four).
“But we are moving forward now and the players are hungry to learn, which is great.
“We have good players here and a good mix, and I want them to express themselves and play with intensity.
“I believe they can do that, and all you ask is that they give their best every day.”
Middlesbrough are set to bring a bumper following to the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Teessiders, who made a raft of signings during he build-up to the deadline earlier this month, have already topped 2,400 ticket sales.
That should help swell the attendance to a best of the season so far for Town.
The tickets-issued crowd for the opening-day game against Bournemouth was 12,371. And 11,333 watched the meeting with Charlton.
It’s the first Saturday clash between the sides since 1988, when Boro were still based at Ayresome Park and Town at Leeds Road.
The North-East club brought 855 fans to last season’s 2-2 draw at the John Smith’s, when 11,999 watched, and 1,088 in 2012-13, when 12,705 saw Town win 2-1 on a foggy evening.
Boro’s last victory over Town was by a 3-0 margin at the Riverside Stadium in the Championship clash of November 2012.