IAN Holloway has revealed that Millwall's fitness levels are far greater than he expected at this stage of pre-season training.
The Lions have been doing three sessions a day at a boot camp in Portugal this week and Holloway has been impressed with the physical condition of his players.
The squad were given Thursday off to recharge their batteries but will be put through two more days of intense work before their return flight to Gatwick this weekend.
"It's been warm in the afternoons but the back end of the week has been scorching so we've got to be careful with them," Holloway said.
"On Wednesday we did three sessions – I had them running up the hills and we stepped things up again.
"The fitness levels are far greater than with any previous group I've had.
"All my records are showing that we're further ahead than the squads I've managed in the past and not one person is behind.
"Hopefully the squad is buying into everything we're talking about.
"I'm giving the youngsters a chance to show me what they can do because they haven't played my way before.
"This week will tell me where they are and gives them an opportunity to learn a few things.
"Everything we've been doing has been built around ball work. We've done one clock run but apart from that the ball has been out.
"Our attacking structure is something we'll be doing a lot of work on. How we transition from attacking into defending is really important. That's where I'm starting."
Holloway says the trip to the Algarve has been particularly helpful in his assessment of the younger players on the fringes of the first team.
And the Millwall boss expects Danny Shittu, Paul Robinson, Carlos Edwards and David Forde to reintegrate themselves seamlessly into the group next week.
"I've left four of the senior boys at home so that I can have a look at the young ones but they will be ready for when I get back," he added.
"Hopefully a lot of the stuff we did at the end of last year with Robinson, Edwards, Shittu and Forde will be just like clockwork again on the brilliant training pitches we've got now.
"This trip is so I can see where the young ones are.
"I've brought Mick Harford out here so he can watch things as well and we'll discuss where we think these boys are and then go off with a plan to implement when we get back.
"But so far these lads have been a credit to Millwall – I have got pride in my club and I'm making a decent pride of young players, if you'll excuse the pun."