Star NRL recruit Aaron Woods believes the biggest challenge in returning the 'Dogs of war' playing style to Canterbury will be mental.
But the former Wests Tigers captain has backed the club to thrive under Dean Pay's game plan to "hurt" opponents, of which the coach was a prominent exponent in his playing days in the 1980s and 90s.
"It's a good thing. The style he wants us to play suits us front-rowers a lot more," Woods told reporters on Thursday.
"Especially with Deano, he's an ex-frontrower so to learn off him and to get guidance in how to play the role is really good.
"He wants to hurt players."
Prop Woods arrived at Belmore this week but is a fortnight away from full contact training as he recovers from a shoulder injury nursed through last year's Rugby League World Cup.
While confident the Bulldogs were capable of dominating opponents physically every week, Woods was adamant that would not be enough.
"It's your mindset. It's a hard thing, backing up each week," he said.
"Rugby league, it's a lot mental so you've got to get that side right first."
As an opponent, Woods viewed his new team as a strong outfit last season despite their struggles on and off the field in finishing 11th, which resulted in the sacking of coach Des Hasler.
The 26-year-old believes teammates' attitudes suggest Pay has ushered in a new Bulldogs era.
"It's a fresh start for the club. They've bought a couple of players. There's a fair turnaround with the staff as well last year, so it's a completely different club at the moment," Woods said.
"Deano can't change what happened last year. He wasn't here. He wasn't in control. We've all moved forward.
"Like Deano said, everyone's here now, he wants everyone here, so we'll just keep working hard."
Woods also backed fellow high-profile recruit Kieran Foran to overcome multiple injuries carried into his arrival at the club, saying the playmaker is a chance for round one against Melbourne in Perth on March 10.
"He's still doing a bit of monitored training," Woods said.
"They're being really cautious with how his body's going. They don't want him to break down too early.
"His body's come a long way. I think he's a bit ahead of schedule."