Matt Gill praised the application of his Norwich City Under-23s squad after they picked up a 2-1 pre-season win over RW Oberhausen on Wednesday.
The young Canaries overcame temperatures of over 30 degrees and falling behind to register victory, thanks to goals from Todd Cantwell and Pierre Xavier Fonkeu.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Gill said: "It was another step up and another challenge.
"We've been building up the intensity and making sure there are building blocks for the first game of the season. There's still lots to work on but the boys are progressing well.
"Today, credit to the boys for how hard they worked. We said before the game we didn't want to use the heat as an excuse.
"However, all credit to the lads because they've taken everything on board. We want to be as strong as we can as a unit and carry momentum forward.
"There were lots of really good things after two days of training. The mentality has been spot on so far."
Gill reserved special praise for goalkeeper Aston Oxborough, who made a number of fine saves across the course of the match.
"Aston was superb," the former City midfielder added.
"I tried to reiterate to the boys they should be straight over to him after the game. He was excellent today and outstanding towards the end of last season.
"Him and Jake Hallett dovetail nicely and push themselves on. All the boys who played 90 minute deserved credit today."