Jamie Mulgrew believes Linfield will be in the best possible shape ahead of their Champions League preliminary round tie against Tre Fiori on August 8.
The Danske Bank Premiership title holders have had merely four weeks to prepare for the showdown against the San Marino champs after global football was brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic back in March.
David Healy's boys will, however, travel to Nyon full of optimism, confident of booking a ticket to the Play-Off Final against representatives from Kosovo or Andorra at the same venue three days later.
The winners of the four-team tournament - which will be played behind closed doors - will progress to the first qualifying round.
Having had such a fantastic run in the Europa League last season - when the Blues were deprived of becoming the first Northern Irish side to reach the group stages when they were eliminated on the away goal rule by Qarabag of Azerbaijan - Mulgrew insists they'll be in tip top condition for their opening tie.
"We are probably going into the unknown to a certain extent, but we have the benefit of playing La Fiorita a few seasons back," he says.
"It was a tight enough score over the two legs (1-0), but the chances we had in both games, we should have been out of sight. For me, we are a better team now than we were then.
"Since we've come back, we are chomping at the bit. The training has been first class, we've given ourselves a good platform going into this game against Tre Fiori.
"We know the game will be played behind closed doors, so that will be different, but it will be the same for all four clubs."
Despite the four-month lay-off, Mulgrew insists his team-mates have returned to the club in prime shape.
"It's something that everyone has had to get their head around," he adds. "It was a shock to the system at first, training on your own.
"My wife worked full-time from home, so I had to look after our two children, but I trained on my own at night. I worked hard to keep myself in shape.
"Personally, I missed the competitive edge of the game. I missed the camaraderie and the dressing room banter.
"The training has been intense since we returned. Normally, we would have had five or six weeks of a break in the summer, but that was extended to 15 or 16 weeks this time.
"We had a lot to pack in, in terms of our pre-season programme, because the time-frame was so short leading up to this European tie.
"We had to up our levels very quickly. Normally, you would build it up, but we've had to squeeze a lot in and train very hard from the word go.
"The boys came back having all done their bit over the lockdown. The training has been great, the intensity has been great so, fitness-wise, we are in a good place."
Although Mulgrew picked up his eighth title winner's medal when the campaign was brought to a halt by the Northern Ireland Football League, he insists he's certainly not finished yet.
"That was my eighth medal - but that's not enough," he says.
"I'm hungry for more, make no mistake about that.
"It probably wasn't the way we wanted to win it, but it was the fairest way it could be done.
"To be honest, I felt a bit sorry for NIFL officials because they were put into a no-win situation.
"In hindsight, they probably could have called it at an earlier stage because the process developed into a fiasco.
"I understand why they wanted to hold off, they wanted to give clubs every chance of finishing the campaign.
"They tried to come up with different proposals, looking for a positive outcome. But a lot of things were brought into the public domain and social media and, when that happens, it's really unprofessional.
"Certain people let themselves down in my opinion. It was a bit of an embarrassment in the end."
The Blues have arranged a number of high-profile friendly ties to help build up match fitness before the European game.
Mulgrew concludes: "We are due to play Bohemians and Shelbourne, two really good games. We will also face Dundalk before the European game.
"So those matches will certainly help our match fitness."