We have spent the last couple of weeks catching up with managers around the country to get their thoughts and feelings on three topics ahead of the new season; their pre-season campaigns, their expectations, and the teams they are tipping for the top.

A selection of npower Championship bosses give us their pre-season reviews in our first of three questions:

Gianfranco Zola (Watford)
"It went very well. We didn't have any problems and it was about trying to get the knowledge of the players and get them understanding each other."

Gus Poyet (Brighton and Hove Albion)
"Pre-season was all right - plenty of work, plenty of complaints but that is normal as it's a hard time for the players, the worse time of the year."

Chris Powell (Charlton Athletic)
"It was very good. We had a training camp out in Spain and the boys worked particularly hard. They are excited for the forthcoming season and we have had some positive results, I know they don't count for much but obviously you want to get into the groove of winning games and scoring goals, and that's what we've been doing."

Kenny Jackett (Millwall)
"Pre-season has gone well. We had a week in Dublin and worked very hard out there."

Malky Mackay (Cardiff City)
"It was fine. We went over to Switzerland for a week and had a really good training camp over there. We then came back and had a few pre-season friendlies here, which went well."

Simon Grayson (Huddersfield Town)
"We've had a good pre-season. It was obviously short and sharp after the Play-Off Final we had but we got a lot of work done and recruitment went well. We had a good trip to Scotland and then played against Crewe, Oldham, Chesterfield and an exciting game against Barcelona B, who came to Huddersfield."

Steve Bruce (Hull City)
"It's gone okay. It's like everything else, you just don't want anyone injured and we have picked up a couple of knocks, and I'm sure most managers will say the same. But, overall, we are quite pleased with what we've done and we all want the season to start."

Tony Mowbray (Middlesbrough)
"Pre-season has gone well. They all came back fit, as a modern day footballer tends to. We've managed to add a few players to the squad and tried to integrate them through some games that we played. We didn't play what I would call our strongest team until the latter stages of pre-season but we are looking forward to the season now, and hopefully it's our year."