The Geordie is set to see action against AIK in Sweden tonight.
"Now is the time when you really start thinking about that first game of the season," the midfielder told ManUtd.com. "We've been back from the main part of the tour for a few days now and everyone is focused on that first game.
"It's about being ready for every game though and Tuesday's will be a good opportunity for some of the lads that haven't played too much recently and also for the lads that have played to get some more minutes in. It helps with your fitness, your general play and your overall sharpness.
"These games are always a test because you're often up against teams who are pretty fit whereas we're still building our fitness up and not quite where we want to be yet. That's the purpose of being here and we want to make sure we perform and play well because we have great pride in ourselves and also want to represent the club in the right way. And we want to continue to make sure we are ready for that first game. We've got a busy week but it's an important one for us."