Graham Potter has said he is excited for the start of the new campaign as Albion look to build on last season’s foundations.
Having returned for pre-season training at the beginning of the week, Potter believes that his players are already close to full fitness despite having only had a three-week break.
“It’s been a short break but we’re always excited for the start of a new season and meeting up with the guys again,” he said. “We want to build on what we did last season and keep trying to improve.
“We’ve had some time to switch off with family and friends although that can take a while to be honest. Pretty quickly you start thinking about coming back and what you need to do and how you need to improve – it’s the life we have and we’re very lucky to have it.
“Because of how last season was we won’t really have too much of a pre-season because they haven’t had much of a break.
“So we don’t need too much fitness work, because they get back to the same point as they were at the end of last season quite quickly, but they’re all in good shape and raring to go.”
Albion drew 14 games last season – the joint highest number alongside Wolves and Arsenal - and Potter would like more of those draws turned into three points.
He added, “Year-on-year you’re trying to improve but I think you have to start off with the humility and respect of the league. Just because you did something well last season, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get points or win games this year, you have to start again.
“The margins in the Premier League are so fine and that’s where you work to turn the scores around in your favour. We’d like to turn those draws into more wins.
“So there’s lots to do, but we have a good foundation to build on. It will be interesting to see how things go this year in terms of getting supporters into the ground and how that process is.”
Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham will be the three new clubs and Potter says finances don’t always dictate how well you compete.
“You look at Sheffield United who had a group that had spent a lot of years together and had a really good understanding of each other and you can see now how that has benefited them.
“I think it’s case-by-case scenario, depending on how the club is run and how well it’s prepared for the Premier League, but it’s still a challenge.
“Two of the three teams that were promoted last season stayed in the league. They already have good players and will want to invest and want to do even better this season. It’s what makes the league so difficult.”