Better fitness has been the key to a good pre-season, according to City's skipper Richard Dunne.
The squad were given training plans during the summer break to help them stay in shape, and Richard thinks that they have done the trick.
"The coaches have been impressed with our level of fitness, they seem to think it's a lot higher than at the same stage last year. That has made it easier because they can push us on a little bit harder, and give us more football work earlier on than before.
"The more football we get in, the better because we can get on the ball and start making more tactical decisions. If you just spend the first two weeks of pre-season running, it cuts short the footballing time."
The pre-season, where City have drawn one and won their other warm-up games so far, has coincided with the current hot spell but heat has not been a problem for Richard and the rest of the squad.
"It's not affected things, we have just carried on as normal. Yes, it's been roasting but it could be like this on the first day of the season so we just have to keep going. As hot as it is, we do our running and training and then get into the ice baths, which are nice at this time of year."
The ice baths have been introduced as a way of reducing the wear and tear on the players' muscles, but Richard sees them as part of the plan to keep the squad in good condition further down the line.
"They have been great, everyone's really appreciated them but it will be the middle of the season when the work we do now will pay off. We want to get our fitness levels up now so when we get towards the end of the season we still have plenty left to keep pushing on. With all the injuries we had at the end of last season, the squad was not big enough to cope so by getting into shape now we will be able to keep going this year."