Tim Ream insists Bolton's tough pre-season tour of Scotland is ideal preparation for the long Championship season ahead.
Wanderers round off their three-game trip north of the border, that so far has resulted in a draw at Ayr and a loss at Hamilton, with a game against Falkirk on Wednesday.
The players will be looking for an instant return to the Premier League after their 11-year stay in the top flight was ended with a draw at Stoke in May.
And with the Scottish sides much closer to match fitness the 24-year-old believes games against sharper opponents so early in their pre-season will have them ready for their season opener against Burnley on 18th August.
"It's a good test for us and they run for 90 minutes and press hard," said Ream. "It gives us an idea of what we're going to be up against in the league. It's a good first test.
"All these teams are starting their season come next week so they're pretty much at the end of their pre-season and close to match fit."
The Trotters have been using the time in their Cumbernauld base for team building exercises aimed at building team spirit.
And Ream, who joined from New York Red Bulls in January, admits he is feeling the benefit of getting to know the players away from the intense atmosphere of a league campaign.
"I think we have all formed an even stronger camaraderie," added Ream. "You get away and spend time with just the twenty something guys and you get to know each other a little bit better. For the new guys, they are able to get integrated.
"It's been good to get away from your usual routine and get out here and bond a little better.
"Obviously there are going to be times when you train hard so you need to rest a little bit and maybe nap a little bit to recuperate.
"It's good to get out with the rest of the guys and see different things and do different things. It's about finding that balance of resting and going out and exploring."