PETER CROUCH admits the extreme temperatures in the United States is having an effect on players on the pitch . . . but feels that it will stand the side in good stead for when they kick-off the forthcoming Premier League campaign against Liverpool next month.
The Potters had to endure temperatures of well over 100 degrees in Wednesday night's opening friendly of the US tour in Houston, and similar conditions can be expected for when the team take to the field for the second time against FC Dallas later this evening.
The England international acknowledges that the heat does take its toll, but knows that it is a necessity for building up fitness levels ahead of the big kick off in just 21 days time.
"It's incredibly hot over here, thankfully the weather here in Dallas doesn't seem quite as extreme as in Houston, but still it is very hot and very hard work for us when we are out training and playing matches," he told Stoke City Player.
"It's obviously something that we have to adapt to, and there is no question that in the long run these sort of games in these sort of conditions do help you.
"By playing in this heat with high humidity levels we build up the fitness levels, and it will make things a lot easier for us when we get back home to England."
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool ace also admits that hitting the goal-scoring trail is high up on his priority list during the remainder of the tour in the United States.
"Obviously as a striker you always want to score goals" he added. "It doesn't matter if its a pre-season friendly game or a Premier League game.
"Strikers just want to put the ball into the back of the net, that is our priority. Whatever game it is that I go out and play in I look to score goals, and hopefully I can do that against Dallas."