The Big Interview - Aaron Cresswell

Hammer of the Year Aaron Cresswell is already feeling the benefits of pre-season, just over a week after returning to training.

The defender has been part of the squad working under new manager Slaven Bilic in Ireland and has enjoyed the impact of the new boss.

He won't be involved in Thursday's UEFA Europa League tie at FC Lusitans but is looking forward to his first run out, which could come at Peterborough United on Saturday.

Aaron, we've been in Ireland for over a week now. How's it been?

AC: "Very good. We've been working hard, the boys have been enjoying it and we're all getting fitter."

When a new manager comes in, is this bonding even more crucial?

AC: "Yes, definitely. None of us knew the Gaffer personally and it's good for us to get to know him. The main thing is to get fit and that's what we're doing."

A lot of sharp sessions have been taking place - the players must relish that?

AC: "Definitely. We did a longer run the other day, but mainly it's been football based and a lot of sharper sessions as you said."

Slaven's been very hands on. You must love that from a manager who's in the thick of the action?

AC: "Yes. He's a very experienced manager and played at the top level too. It's good that when he steps on the pitch he's hands on. Hopefully we can learn little things and become better players."

As the days count down now, can you sense the excitement around the squad at the start of the season?

AC: "We're all buzzing for the first game. There's the pre-season and Europa League games first too, so I'm sure we'll all get together soon as a squad, enjoy each others' company and work hard together."