Gary Mackay-Steven is facing a double challenge to keep impressing as Dundee United put in extra training sessions despite soaring Spanish temperatures.
Based in San Roque on the Costa del Sol, most days the Tangerines are training first thing in the morning and then in the evening to escape the worst of the sun.
Even so, the mercury has still been touching 35 degrees as manager Jackie McNamara puts his men through their paces.
While that’s happening, holiday-makers are sunning themselves pool side in luxurious villas just a few hundred metres away in this exclusive golf and leisure resort.
GMS, though, can testify that for him and his team-mates this is no sunshine break.
“It’s been baking here but we are training as long and hard as we usually do in St Andrews.
“The gaffer hasn’t shortened the sessions or anything like that and it’s just a case of getting the work done because we know it sets us up for the season.”
Extra water is available to keep the players hydrated and, in Mackay-Steven’s case, plenty sun-block is also on hand.
With blond hair and fair skin, he’s not ideally suited for these kind of conditions.
“With my skin, I can fry out here when I’m standing in the shade.
“I have to make sure I have plenty cream on before we get down to work.
“To be fair, I think we all do because the weather since we arrived has been brilliant and I bet the people on holiday out here are having a great time.
“I’m not complaining about it because it’s great to come to a place like this to do your work.
“It’s also been good to get away because we have got so many new players this year.
“We’re together all the time and we’ve got to know the new boys quickly.
“They’re good lads and they’ve settled well.”
Returning to the subject of the work being done on the training pitch, the twice daily sessions usually end with a game on a half-sized pitch.
And at times that’s pitched GMS up against a very handy full-back. His manager.
“Jackie, Sid (Simon Donnelly) and Darren Jackson get involved and they can all still play.
“If I’m up against the gaffer I know it won’t be easy.
“He’s still very good and you see right away why he was a top player for Celtic.
“His reading of the game is brilliant so you have to be on your game to get the better of him.”
At only 39, it’s just two years since McNamara’s playing career came to an end when he swapped his shirt for the manager’s jacket at Partick Thistle.
Mackay-Steven can bear witness to the fact he has kept himself in shape during that time.
“He’ll get involved in the training games and he also does some of the runs.
“When he does he’s still up near the front and that’s not bad going in the kind of heat we’re getting out here.”
Looking at his own fitness the man who is again set to be a key player for United in the coming season is quietly content with how his build up is going.
“It’s been smooth so far. I’m feeling good and the match fitness is coming on.
“The first game isn’t that far away now but I’ll be ready for that.
“All the boys will and we’re looking forward to it.”