NIGEL Clough says his Brewers squad are ahead of where they were at this stage last season.
After the pre-season opener at Matlock Town the Albion manager was pleased with the fitness and spirit of his players after less than two weeks of training.
He said: “Because of the way we played in the second half of last season then everyone is a little bit brighter and fresher and a bit more ready to go.”
New signings Jevan Anderson, Kieran O’Hara and Richard Nartey all played on Saturday and pleased Clough.
He said: “Jevan is still very raw and will take a few months to get really up to speed. We will try and build him up physically as well if we can – without losing his athleticism.
“It will be Richard’s first stint of league football and he looked comfortable on Saturday. He will need the experience of someone like Jake Buxton alongside him, that will be vital.
“Kieran has only been in a few days but the lovely thing is that they fit in alfeady and feel at home. When you get out on loan a big thing is that you do feel part of it.”
Clough also hopes to add to his squad before the season proper starts.
“We are working on a at loan at the moment that we would like to try and get done this week.
“If we can get a couple in, a forward preferably, that would be great."