Paul Lambert spoke of his delight at the pre-season training camp in Germany as Villa signed off their trip with a draw against VfL Bochum.
Lambert once again stressed his interest in fitness rather than results after the 1-1 result, which gave Villa an undefeated sequence thus far.
But the boss was also pleased with some of the play in the second half as the likes of Nicklas Helenius, Leandro Bacuna, Marc Albrighton and Gary Gardner starred.
He told AVTV: "It's gone according to plan in terms of work ethic and trying to instil that mentality. It's gone good from that point of view.
"It's been a really tough week, when you look at the training and the matches.
"We have come away undefeated from three hard fixtures. Their seasons are starting next week. Ours begins in five weeks time.
"It was a tough game today. But in the second half we played very well, it was just we couldn't see the game through. We looked threatening.
"It's tough here, really tough. Bochum are Bundesliga 2. They are tough games here. It's a different type of football. But some of the stuff was very good.
"There were a lot of good things to take out of the trip. You take a lot from it.
"But we know we have a lot of hard work before we play that first game.
"We have had a really tough eight days or so, with three games in six days. It's really tough because it is not normal. The main thing is the fitness so you get to the point where things are natural."
Lambert also spoke of his delight at seeing Helenius find the target again - his second in three pre-season games.
He added: "It will be good for his confidence. He's still finding his feet.
"It's another goal for him which will certainly give him confidence."
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