A first full week of pre-season training has seen the players get through plenty of fitness work at the training ground and Bruce says this is the time for his squad to build a base from which to build as the weeks and months go by.
“All of the players have come back to work in really good shape and they’ve all been doing some work during the break,” said Bruce.
“That is good to see because they will need to be at their best physically and our aim now is to make sure they get there – this is a vitally important time.
“It’s been a sweltering start to pre-season with the weather and you can imagine how difficult it is for the players in the heat.
“But it’s vitally important for every player that they get a pre-season under their belt, it’s like money in the bank for them.
“Once you’ve gone through pre-season, you’ve got it stored there. For those that don’t quite get through pre-season, they’re going to be playing catch-up and that is always difficult.
“This is also a very important time for players like Sone Aluko, Matty Fryatt and Joe Dudgeon and hopefully they’ll come through with everybody else so that we have a fully fit squad to choose from when the opening game at Chelsea comes around.”
As ever, pre-season is going to be a busy time. After completing this first full week of training, the Tigers face their opening pre-season fixtures against local sides North Ferriby United and Winterton Rangers on Monday evening before flying out to Portugal on Tuesday for a training camp, where they will also play games against Sheffield Wednesday and SC Braga.
With plenty of work planned for the training ground in between times, Bruce has full belief that his players will be ready to meet the challenge of the Premier League head on.
“We’re back at work now,” added Bruce.
“We’ve got seven or eight games in pre-season and everything we do is geared towards five weeks’ time (against Chelsea).
“We’ll get ourselves into the best physical condition we can and I can already see from the way the players have been working this week, there isn’t one of them that has come back out of condition – things have certainly changed and moved on (from the old days).
“These players were a pleasure to work with last season and I’m sure those that proved they were top Championship players will go and make a fist of it in the Premier League because that is what it is all about.”