Real Sociedad begin their 2015-16 campaign in La Liga with a challenging trip to Riazor, where they'll face Deportivo La Coruña on Saturday evening.
During a press conference after training on Thursday, via the official Real Sociedad website, attacking midfielder Esteban Granero offered a positive view on how pre-season preparations have gone, praising the work of manager David Moyes and certain his team are ready for the big kick-off.
"We're completely prepared. It's been a very demanding pre-season." Underlined the 28-year-old, adding: "We've worked hard, much better than in previous years."
"Most important is getting our physical shape back and we've done that well. We've had pre-season games of all types, which are also good to learn from, and we are now at the optimal moment for the first game of La Liga." Granero assured.
Confident of an even better second season with Moyes at the helm, Granero highlighted: "We're very competitive. That's the sensation I have. We still have to improve things, but we've already improved a lot."
As such, Granero believes: "We're full of guarantees we can go to Coruña to win the game." Confident that Real Sociedad can start the season with three points from Saturday's encounter in Galicia.
Reflecting on what was a disappointing 2014-15 campaign for La Real, Granero suggested: "The team did some good things last season. I don't think there was any lack of intensity. Now the intensity of the team is very good and we've improved in every aspect."
For that reason Granero underlined: "The start of the season is vital. Last season a poor start really cost us and if we start with a good push this time, this will give us confidence and security for the whole season."
One of the key objectives for Moyes since moving to the Basque club last season, has been to get them back into European competition. Granero agrees entirely with that as an objective: "We have to be ambitious and think about Europe. That's what the squad we have demands, and it's what the fans will demand." He acknowledged.
There's also the one game at a time approach to consider though, as the player dubbed 'The Pirate' pointed out: "This is an ambition which should give us a different mentality for each game. Naturally, our objectives are going to be short-term and right now we're thinking about Deportivo, but we'll always face games with high ambition."
Granero then indicated he feels in top shape personally, explaining: "Last season was important for me. I came into it from a year without playing and ended up playing a lot of games. Now I feel good physically and have improved various aspects of my game."
"At an individual level this year, I want to take a step forward. I can still improve and people will note that this year. They're going to see a different player." Granero concluded, with the promise of strong performances for La Real this season.