Jermaine Jenas feels the lads will reap the benefit of three tough games in Asia as the big kick-off to the Premier League season draws closer.
Playing conditions were tough in both China and Hong Kong as we lifted the Barclays Asia Trophy in Beijing before Sunday's friendly against South China.
Indeed, the temperature was reportedly 34c in the Hong Kong National Stadium on Sunday, with 90 per cent humidity.
We now have one more friendly against Olympiakos at the Lane this coming Sunday before our mouth-watering league opener against Liverpool on August 16.
"It's been important for us to get together as a squad and start churning out performances," said JJ after Sunday's 2-0 loss in Hong Kong, when we couldn't find a way past inspired home keeper Zhang Chunlui, who made a string of fine saves.
"We played well in China and won the trophy out there and that was important.
"Winning's a great habit to get into, it was a good performance in the final against Hull, we created a lot of chances and in doing that, we dominated both games and ended up deserved winners.
"We need to start getting into a rhythm and after the Wembley Cup, where we had a couple of disappointing displays, we came out here and put in two very good performances and, as I said, deserved to win the tournament in China.
"South China was a difficult game for us. They were well organised, dropped off and protected their goal, pressed us throughout and it was tough, especially in the conditions.
"The weather is so humid and there isn't a lot of oxygen out there but it's pre-season and that's what we're here for, to get fit.
"The Premier League season is creeping up on us and playing in conditions like that will only improve out fitness."