Ben Mee felt this year’s Gaffer’s Day was the toughest yet.
The dreaded day of energy-sapping running, which has become a feature of pre-season under Sean Dyche, arrived on Wednesday in Portugal where the squad faced almost two hours of exercises to add fuel to the tank for the challenges ahead.
And Mee, one of the elder-statesmen of the squad, with nine pre-seasons under his belt at Turf Moor, feels the players passed the test with flying colours.
“It’s the toughest day of the year. There’s no getting away from that,” said Mee.
“We all know what it’s about and I’ve been here long enough to know when it’s coming and how hard it’s going to be.
“It’s something you look to and once you pass that, you know where you are. It’s a benchmark and usually there’s no science to it; the gaffer just makes you run!
“This year it’s a little different because they got involved a little bit more with the GPS and we did some collective running.
“But we all know what’s needed in the Premier League and we know we need to match and go beyond other teams in terms of fitness.
“This was definitely the toughest we’ve done, but the lads have come back as fit as I’ve seen them and everyone is looking and feeling really sharp.”
Foe Mee, fitness was never in question for one of only three outfield players - along with Luka Milivojevic of Crystal Palace and Wolves’ Conor Coady - to play every minute in the Premier League last season.
And the defender, who skippered the side in the first half of the 2018/19 campaign in the absence of Tom Heaton, is eyeing a repeat 100% record as Burnley look to improve on last season’s faltering start.
He added: “Looking at the lads, we feel like we’re raring to go and we’ve still got another five weeks or so, and we’ll be looking to get off to a good start and have a good season.
“From a personal point of view I want to match last season by playing as much as I can.
“If I can play every minute again and get two seasons like that, that would be nice.
“Sometimes you can manage the niggles and play through them, but that goes for anyone, so I’ll be aiming for that.”