Rickie Lambert says he's raring to go as the Saints squad prepares to return to Staplewood for pre-season training tomorrow.
Like the rest of the First Team have over the course of the past two days, striker Rickie underwent fitness tests at Southampton Solent University this morning.
And he says he's pleased with his current fitness levels with six weeks left until the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League gets underway in mid-August.
"It's good to be back," Lambert told Saints Player earlier today. "I obviously enjoyed the summer and I had a good break, but now I'm itching to get back playing football and to play the first game of the season.
"The days when you could switch off are gone now, especially for someone my age. You just tick over and carry on going because it's not as if you can have a week or two where you do nothing.
"It's good if you can do that, but some people can't and I'm one of them. I enjoyed it – I got what I needed out of it and I'm ready to come back now."
All players apart from those on international duty until recently will be at Staplewood tomorrow as pre-season training gets fully underway.
And the 31-year-old is hoping that manager Mauricio Pochettino allows the squad to get reacquainted with the football as well as improving their fitness with a few long runs.
"It's about getting fit so there's going to be a lot of running involved, but hopefully we'll get the footballs out as well," said Rickie.
"I'm looking forward to play some football because I haven't really touched a ball in six weeks, which is strange for a footballer."
Last season's top goalscorer also took time to assess the fixture list, which was revealed during his summer break.
"It's a bit different from last year, where we had the surprise of having the top four teams in the first five games," he said.
"But it doesn't mean this year is going to be any easier because the pressure is on us to get the points, which we'll be looking to do.
"If you turn up five per cent away from your best and you'll get beaten by any team – and battered sometimes as well. It's a hard, hard league but we've got to be confident in ourselves.
"For now we've just got to focus on getting through pre-season. Hopefully there'll be no injuries for the lads so we'll be ready and fit for West Brom away."
Lambert says Saints' current squad will be more than capable of holding its own next season, but admitted he would be open to prospect of a new signing or two being added to the ranks ahead of the big kick off.
And the striker added that he is looking forward to meeting Dejan Lovren – the Club's only addition of the signing so far – when he arrives at Staplewood in the near future.
"I didn't know too much about him, but I've read up on him and he will be a very, very good addition to the squad," Rickie said of his new teammate.
"I haven't met him yet but I can't wait. Hopefully he'll help push us on.
"We're more than confident in the team we've got now, but hopefully the gaffer is going to bring in a few to improve us as well.
"It's ideal to get people in at this stage – as a player, you can't underestimate how important that is. Thankfully we've got a good lad and a good defender in, and hopefully we can get a couple more in.
"Even if we don't, I still think we've got a very good squad with very good people. We've all had a season in the Premier League, so I think we'll be even better next season."