Ledley King has underlined the importance of a good start to the season at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
We travel to the Riverside on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League on the back of an impressive pre-season campaign where exciting new players have bedded down quickly and we've won seven of eight matches, brought home a trophy from the Feyenoord Jubileum Tournament and hammered Roma 5-0 at the Lane.
However, the skipper knows it's a different ball game once we step into the competitive arena and that Gareth Southgate's side will be more than up for it on home soil.
"We feel good at the moment but we all realise pre-season is totally different to the start of the season," reasoned Ledley. "In previous years we've had good pre-seasons and not started that well when it matters, so our focus is on the start of the season and getting three points at Middlesbrough.
"Any first game of the season is tough, especially away from home. Middlesbrough will be up for it, their fans will be right behind them and we'll have to be at our best to get anything out of it.
"We've said all along that the start is vital. We got off to a poor start last season and found it difficult to get back - it's tough putting back to back wins together in this league.
"This time around we want to get off to a good start and maintain it.
"We signed young, exciting players with quality and when you get those types of players, you know they will be a positive addition. We've seen that already. We're all eager to prove ourselves and can't want to for the season to start."