Pablo Orbaiz is pleased that Athletic Bilbao are playing competitive football instead of friendlies as they prepare to face Barcelona at the weekend.
The Basque club have reached the Europa League qualifiers after winning a preliminary round against Young Boys of Bern and also have the Spanish Super Cup to play.
With the competitive encounters lined up, Bilbao have only played a couple of friendlies.
That, though, has suited Orbaiz, with the midfielder of the belief that playing games with something riding on them will help Bilbao over the course of the 2009/10 campaign.
"Since last Thursday we feel like the season has begun," he told El Mundo Deportivo.
"From now on all the games are official and competitive and we have to be at our best.
"I think it is good that we are playing serious games already. It means that we will be accustomed to it when the first league games come along.
"We have to be positive and see it from that point of view. We have been back in training for a month and, logically, mistakes are made, but we will try to stop them."
Looking ahead to the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup, Orbaiz believes that Bilbao should be aiming to try and exact some revenge for the defeat they suffered at the hands of Barca in the Copa del Rey final last term.
"The trophy is there to be won over the two legs. We know how difficult it will be against them, but this is a good time to play these games and we want to win," he continued.
"I am sure there will be a lot of opinions. If we win 3-0 everyone will say we are great and if we lose then they will say we are going badly.
"All I can say is that the team is working hard and we will do all we can to win on the pitch."