Sheffield United manager David Weir revealed his team are “straining at the leash” ahead of Friday’s League One curtain-raiser against Notts County.
The former Scotland international made the admission following Saturday’s draw with York City which ensured the Blades finished their pre-season schedule still unbeaten.
However, Tony McMahon could miss the visit of Chris Kiwomya’s side after sustaining an ankle injury during the match at Bootham Crescent.
Weir told The Star: “The real stuff starts now and the lads are straining at the leash. We’ve just got to keep them on it for a little bit longer and then we can let them go.
“By and large we are happy with how things have gone so far but there are still things we want to work on.But we feel as if we’re moving in the right direction.”
“For a footballer, nothing beats going out there and playing games,” Weir added. “And that’s what the boys are desperate to do now.
“It’s encouraging to see them in that frame of mind but we know we have to stay.
“We’re all looking forward to the first one though. The team and us as staff included.”
Weir, who admitted he was “99 per cent happy” with the options at his disposal before last week’s contest against Atromitos FC, indicated United’s squad “is now pretty settled” after a busy summer in the transfer market.
“There’s nothing going on in that regard,” he said before travelling to City.
Nevertheless, the sight of McMahon joining fellow defender Marcus Williams on the casualty list could prompt a change of plan at full-back.
Williams hobbled-off following a collision with a member of the Greek Superleague side.
Callum McFadzean scored United’s opener against a City team which secured a share of the spoils when substitute Ryan Bowman pounced during the closing stages.
Weir, who gave run-outs to youngsters Lewis Reed, Connor Dimaio and Otis Khan, said: “It was a really worthwhile exercise for us. ”