Kieran Trippier feels Burnley are benefiting from a first pre-season together under Sean Dyche.
The Clarets have started the new campaign with four points from six, as well as a handsome Capital One Cup win at York City.
They look to extend their unbeaten start at home to Yeovil Town tomorrow in the first-ever meeting between the sides.
Trippier believes Dyche - who took over last October from Eddie Howe - has made Burnley a tougher proposition to face, having had chance to further implement his ideas at Gawthorpe over the last month and a half.
Dyche has built on the work put into making the side more miserly, adding poise and penetration in possession, and the 22-year-old right back, who has started the season in fine form, said: “It’s the first pre-season that the manager has had with us.
“He’s done his thing and everyone’s looking fit and sharp.
“I bet it was hard for him when he first came in.
“He wanted to do his own thing and improve us defensively, because that’s what we struggled with last year.
“He tightened everything up.
“But I bet it’s been good for him to get his first pre-season under his belt with the players.
“To go away to Ireland especially was good.
“We all know what he wants and expects, and where we want to be as a team and as the manager himself.
“We want to be in the play-offs.
“Now that we’ve bonded as a team and the manager’s had his first pre-season, he’s got to know us a bit more after spending five nights all away together.
“He’s got a great understanding of us and what we can achieve.”
Burnley were priced by bookmakers as one of the sides likely to be in the relegation dogfight - not pushing for a place in the top six.
But despite the sale of Charlie Austin, and the departure of the likes of Chris McCann, Martin Paterson and Lee Grant, Dyche has made some astute moves in the transfer market, without spending a penny in fees so far.
In have come David Jones, Tom Heaton, Scott Arfield, Ryan Noble and Alex Cisak, and while the squad is not bursting at the seams, Trippier feels it is a case of quality and not quantity at the club: “There’s been a massive change with Granty going and Chris and a few others. “It’s a bit different with new players coming in.
“But there are some top lads like Heats (Tom Heaton).
“Teams might underestimate us but I think we’ll give some teams a big shock this year. You can’t underestimate anybody.
“It’s going to be an exciting season.”