Chris Wilder says the hardwork starts again, as the players returned to Shirecliffe on Thursday.
And the manager is looking forward to seeing his side get put through their paces.
He remarked: "The players are moaning already and I don't blame them, I would be too.
"But it's changed from when I was a player, you had a week away with the family and a few days with your pals.
"Now I'm talking to the lads, they've been here, there, so it's payback time for me and the staff as we watch them run around, but they've come back in great nick."
Wilder added: "We play in a way that means we have to be fit and we are a very fit group, they know it will be tough, but we will try and make it enjoyable for them as we look to get up to speed quickly.
"It's a tough part of the season, but it sets us up to play in a way myself and the supporters enjoy.
"We want to get about our opponents, be fit and athletic, so the lads are going to have to put some yards in during the coming weeks."