By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Alan Pardew was delighted with the efforts of his squad in their first week of pre-season training - and equally pleased with the impact of new Head of Fitness Dave Billows.
The former Everton fitness guru arrived in the summer and has been putting the Magpies' stars through their paces since their return to Tyneside on Monday.
And United boss Pardew likes what he has seen so far.
"I'm very pleased, we are looking in good shape," he told nufc.co.uk.
"I'm very happy with Dave Billows. He has brought his vast experience from Everton to what we have been doing here.
"Combine that, and we have come up with what we think is as good a pre-season as we can get.
"The lads have enjoyed having him around. It's a new voice at the training ground, a fresh feeling to us, and that always helps too."