Grant Hanley says each member of the Norwich City squad is desperate to grab a starting spot for the season opener against Birmingham City on August 4.
Hanley made his return to action on Wednesday night as City beat Luton Town 3-1 in their latest pre-season friendly.
With just one friendly left until the opening weekend, Hanley said there is pressure on everyone at present but he said the team will be pleased with their efforts at Kenilworth Road.
“Pre-season games are difficult because there’s nothing riding on them really but it’s important for the lads to put the work in,” said Hanley.
“The season is approaching fast and other elements are coming in now – the tactical side and ultimately the lads are wanting to put their name forward to be in that starting eleven at Birmingham.
“There’s a bit of pressure on performances now but the lads can be pleased tonight. It was a good win.
“It’s good to get into those sorts of habits early doors and it’s a very positive night for us.
“We felt organised and we moved the ball really well and scored some goals. But we won’t get too far ahead of ourselves.”
Hanley has had a watching brief from the sidelines during this pre-season but made a welcome return with 45 minutes in Hertfordshire.
“There’s never a good time to be injured but a couple of weeks into pre-season wasn’t ideal for me.
“Luckily, I’ve managed to keep myself ticking over and get back into training. It’s now about getting myself as fit as possible for the season.
“It was nice to get on the park and get some minutes under my belt.”