Jamaal Lascelles says Newcastle United’s players couldn’t wait to get back to work.
Lascelles and his team-mates are in Ireland for a week-long training camp.
Rafa Benitez’s squad had a two-month break from football because of the Championship’s early finish.
Only a handful of players were involved in summer internationals.
And captain Lascelles – who had surgery at the end of last season – says he and his colleagues were keen to get back on the pitch ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
“It was fantastic to win the league and get promoted, but at the same time we knew we should be doing it,” said Lascelles, who lead the team to the Championship title.
We enjoyed our summer, and, to be honest, most of the boys were looking forward to getting started. They’re glad to be back.Rafa Benitez
“All these boys are Premier League players.
“We enjoyed our summer, and, to be honest, most of the boys were looking forward to getting started. They’re glad to be back.”
Newcastle opened their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win over Heart of Midlothian on Friday night.
Dwight Gayle scored both United’s goals at Tynecastle.
And Newcaslte – who have been training at Carlton House, Co Kildare – will return to England on Friday ahead of Saturday’s friendly against Preston North End at Deepdale.
“We’ll have a hard week here and then go down to Preston,” said 23-year-old Lascelles.
“Hopefully, we’ll get another win, but it’s about getting those cobwebs out of your legs and preparing for the start of the season.”
Meanwhile, United manager Benitez has been pleased with the attitude and application of his players so far this pre-season.
“You can see that the training sessions are always OK at this time, and all the players want to impress, so it’s good.”