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 League 1 bosses give us their pre-season reviews in our first of three questions:

Gary Smith (Stevenage)
"Very well, there's an awful lot going on at our club. There's been a number of new additions and it's a nice opportunity for those new faces and new personalities to try and blend in with one another."

Graham Westley (Preston North End)
"Pre-season is always a difficult time, you want that match action to come along and friendlies, whilst they are there for a purpose, you don't get the same buzz as you do when you are winning three points. It went ok, we worked hard and the squad is coming together nicely."

Russell Slade (Leyton Orient)
"Pre-season is all about getting your squad together and getting them fit. We are where we need to be for the start of the season."

Andy Thorn (Coventry City)
"Pre-season was tough for the boys. We've been to Scotland, to do some work up there, and had some tough games against SPL sides. It's been a good work out. With five or six new boys in we have needed to gel a bit but you speak to all the managers and they have all had the same problems.

"It's been good, but tough."

Paolo Di Canio (Swindon Town)
"Pre-season went very well. We have done a good job and now we are looking forward for the start of the season."

Paul Dickov (Oldham Athletic)
"It has gone well. We had a few good results but it's not something I'm going to look too much into. They've been good results and good performances but I would have been just as pleased if we'd lost the games and seen the progression that we're making at the minute."

Steve Davis (Crewe Alexandra)
"Pre-season has gone very well. The lads have plenty of games to play this season, they perhaps didn't play quite enough games last season, so I want to make sure they will be match fit when we get started."

Uwe Rosler (Brentford)
"Pre-season was good. We went out to Germany and players are looking in good shape."