Club journalist Rob Pollard provides an update from the Hong Kong leg of our tour of Asia.

Manchester City were met with warmth and kindness during our stay in Hong Kong, a city which offers so much beauty, tranquillity and entertainment. 

The players have visibly enjoyed their time here.

They were given the day off on Tuesday, their first full 24 hours of total freedom on the tour.

Some went walking into town, while others had activities planned and friends to catch up with.

Preparing for a new season requires hard work and complete dedication, but Pep Guardiola also knows that his squad need time to relax, both physically and mentally and it was great to see them switch off and enjoy their new environment. 

They were back on the training field on Tuesday, before a series of media engagements and partner activities.

Guardiola and Raheem Sterling faced the press to preview the game against Kitchee the following day.

John Stones and Kyle Walker travelled on a DukLing boat on the river outside the team hotel, while Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva played a game of table tennis (appallingly refereed by me).

New signing Rodri, who has been a pleasure to have on the trip, was joined by Aymeric Laporte and Ilkay Gundogan for an afternoon of sightseeing as they took in the Avenue of Stars, a walk taking in Hong Kong’s stunning city skyline.

But then it was back to match action on Wednesday.

The game against Kitchee was pleasing, not only for the comprehensive 6-1 scoreline, but for the obvious jump in the squad’s overall fitness.

Yes, Kitchee were a far weaker side than City and we were always going to win the game, but the speed with which we passed the ball and the desire we showed to reclaim possession was much more in keeping with our usual high standards.

The two games in China were good workouts, but understandably lacked the tempo we associate with this team and the game at the Hong Kong Stadium saw us play with far more intensity.

A recovery session in the hotel pool followed the morning after, before we departed for Japan and the final leg of this Asia tour on Thursday afternoon.

There we play fellow City Football Group side Yokohama F. Marinos.

The squad are in good shape, with fitness levels improving all the time.

Japan will be more about fine-tuning before we return to the familiar surroundings of the CFA to prepare for the Community Shield against Liverpool at Wembley.