Mark Connolly is adamant the next Dundee United manager is inheriting a squad well placed to thrive in the Premiership.
However, work on the training pitch has continued under the supervision of coaches Gordon Forrest and Lee McCulloch in recent weeks as United prepare for their long-awaited return to the top-flight.
Despite the changes in the dugout, United defender Connolly remains enthused about his own return to the Premiership, as well as the mix of inevitable new arrivals and existing young talents at the club.
He said: “The club will probably look to bring in a few more players once the new manager is appointed but at the moment it’s an exciting time.
“I think we’re in a good position to get someone in and get ready for a huge season ahead.
“I played in the Premiership for two years with Kilmarnock and really enjoyed it. I felt comfortable at that level.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into that league and also seeing some of our younger boys test themselves, show that they can play at the top level and prove that they are not Championship players.
“The club have put a lot of faith in those players by giving them long-term contracts so I’m sure they are desperate to test themselves against the likes of Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen.
“We were the best team in the Championship but we know this is a step up, not just in the football side of it, but the mental side of things.
“But I just can’t wait to get back playing at that standard every week.”
Neilson will break his silence on his Tynecastle return at his first press conference as Hearts boss on Monday.
Connolly says his old manager’s advice will ensure the Tangerines squad is fighting fit for the new man’s arrival.
He told Arabzone: “We had to be mentally switched on in terms of when we would be coming back, and we spoke to Robbie (Neilson) about how we could come back stronger and fitter.
“I look around the team and I think everyone has taken that on board.
“Everyone is very fit for this stage of pre-season and, whoever the new manager is, it gives him a fantastic platform. The boys are ready to crack on.”