Chris Powell says his team have an attitude and personality about them ahead of the 2018/19 season getting underway on Saturday.
Blues face Doncaster Rovers at Roots Hall on the opening weekend of the Sky Bet League One season.
And Powell wants his side to show the same qualities that saw them win nine and draw five of 18 games towards the end of last season.
“We’ve worked really hard, the boys are physically ready, they’ve looked good and I’m really pleased with their output and what they’ve given me, but more importantly what they’ve given each other throughout pre-season.
“This is it now. Come Saturday it’s all about our season, our home form our away form, it’s about what we plan to do throughout the next nine or ten months.
“We have an attitude this year and a personality about us that we want to do the best we can for ourselves.
“For me it’s about trying to carry on the form we had last season, but there’s no guarantees of that. We need to really push to get to that because that level gets you into the top half, the top ten, the top six.
“It would be remiss of me not to try and emulate that, and some, if we can. We know that’s what we’re trying to achieve this year.
“But as always, it’s about the next game and the next game for us is Doncaster Rovers at home. I know the players will be ready, they’re itching to play and we’re all looking forward to it.”
On the riggers or pre-season and facing Doncaster first up, Powell added: “It’s been a tough pre-season in respect of the work the players have put in.
“We’ve had an exceptionally hot summer which has taken a lot out of them, but we’ve tried to have a balance to make sure they can give enough in the games.
“I went to watch them last Friday night before our game against Orient and Grant McCann was manager of Peterborough in my second game in charge of Southend.
“It’s pre-season where teams chop and change, and you don’t really see a settled side so you’re almost guessing what they’re going to line-up with.
“You don’t really know about teams until five or six games in, but it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to play what’s in front of us, and it’s the same for them.”