The manager’s long-time favoured pre-season destination is central Europe and the foothills of the Alps, and there was never any doubt that this would be the venue where his Boro squad took their first steps ahead of the new campaign.

“I’ve been doing this for 13 or 14 years now and it’s a wonderful place, although the weather hasn’t been great yet,” he said.

“It’s quiet here, you’re away from everything, and there are some fantastic facilities.

“In the first three or four days we do plenty of hill work and although they find it tough, it’s all very beneficial.

“The pitches here are wonderful as well and we have a good game at the end to finish.”

The ‘Tony Pulis Pre-Season’ has something of a legendary status within the game, largely because the football grapevine rumbles to whispers of the demands involved.

“We do the hills and yes they’re very steep, but what you’re doing is you’re not overextending yourselves so you can’t get any pulls,” he explained.

“And what they’re doing is, putting strength into the legs and into the body.

“At lunchtime, we do strength and conditioning work and later on we’re out on the pitches for a couple of hours.

“It’s three different sessions to cover everything you need.”

While much is made of the physical aspect, the sessions are also designed to improve mental strength, and forge a close bond among the squad.

“You saw on the first morning after everybody had finished when Dimi and Daz (Randolph) came through as the last group, everyone was on the hill waiting for them and clapping them through," he added.

“It’s about character building and that spirit. They were a bit quiet at breakfast that first morning, and they found it difficult, but they enjoyed it.”