Before the match City confirmed the addition of striker Leonardo Ulloa to the squad on a four-year deal from Brighton, who became the Club’s fourth signing of the summer behind Marc Albrighton, Matthew Upson and Ben Hamer.
And with the Argentine watching on from the stands, James and co. made short work of their non-league opponents – sweeping them aside with a convincing 6-1 victory at the New Manor Ground.
Ulloa, who scored twice against the Foxes at King Power Stadium for Brighton last term will fly out with his new team-mates to Thailand on Wednesday, ahead of a potential debut against Everton in Bangkok on Sunday.
A thrilled James said: “I think it’s always the case when you sign a new player you expect things, but we don’t want to put too much pressure on him, we’ve just got to welcome him with open arms and hope he scores some goals for us.
“We’ve had a little chat, and I may have to top up on my Spanish a little bit, but I’m sure we’ll get on!
“Every time he plays against Leicester he seems to have one of his best games of the season. He is a real handful and I’m sure he’ll be a good signing and a good asset for us.”
In front of the watching Ulloa, James played the first 45 minutes against Ilkeston, and after dusting off the cobwebs, he admitted that while there is still lots of work to do in pre-season, the excitement for the opening weekend was building in the camp.
“I can’t wait. Especially after getting that first 45 minutes under my belt. It’s only three and a half weeks away now, so everyone just can’t wait,” said James.
“It’s a great bunch of lads and there’s a great mix between youth and experience. The new lads that have come in have settled really well and we’ve had a new addition this week, who I’m sure will settle quickly too.
“We need to keep that same team spirit and bonding and hopefully that’ll help us stay in the league.
“You’ve got to be ready for all the different formations. I’m sure we’ll chop and change this season, but hopefully I can do my part and keep my place in the team.
“I know that we’re going to have to play a few different formations and set up a little bit more defensively in certain games to be a bit harder to beat against the bigger teams.
“We might also change the system to be more free flowing and attacking in other games too.”