Jan Kirchhoff is revelling in the importance of pre-season following the Black Cats’ return to training.
The midfielder was exceptional during his first six months with the club following a January move from Bayern Munich, with fans immediately taking to the German as he cemented his place in the centre of midfield.
On Thursday Kirchhoff will travel to Austria alongside his team-mates for a ten-day training camp, with Sam Allardyce putting his squad through an intense regime ahead of the new campaign.
And speaking to safc.com the 25-year-old hailed the importance of building a solid foundation ahead of opening day.
“It is nice to be back,” said Kirchhoff. “It was a long summer and we enjoyed the break, but it’s time to prepare for the new season.
“The game against Everton seems like a long time ago but on the other hand it feels like yesterday; it was a really intense time, especially the last two weeks with three games per week, and there were ups and downs but I remember a great feeling with the fans.”
He continued: “My personal ambition for the season is just to have a good pre-season at the moment, taking it day by day and game by game because now it is all about preparing as individuals and as a team.
“We need to find our rhythm again because we showed in the last 10 games that we’re good enough to play in this league and good enough to have a better season than we did last year.
“The goal for the next six weeks is to be 100% from the first game because having a good start to the season builds confidence and produces points as fast as you can.
“This is a really important time for the whole season and it is how we create our base for the entire year.”