Joe Sayers believes Yorkshire will be a marked team this summer, especially in its early stages, as they bid to go one better in the LV= County Championship.

Andrew Gale’s side are aiming to improve on last season’s second-place finish behind Durham and win the county’s first four-day title since 2001.

And with the likelihood of their England stars being made available for large parts of the season, they should be up there challenging again in 2014.

But Sayers, now retired from professional cricket, believes teams will be wary of Yorkshire’s power and could make life difficult for them as a result through the way they approach matches.

“Teams will be out to beat Yorkshire, there’s no doubt about that,” said the former opening batsman.

“They will see them as a big threat and, from that point of view, it could be quite a challenging start to the season.

“I suppose some teams might be slightly less urgent to set up any games against them – and they’ll certainly be on their guard for the attack of a strong Yorkshire side.”

Aside from that, however, Sayers sees no other reason why Yorkshire cannot succeed this summer.

“I certainly think there’s potential for a very strong Yorkshire side because of the likelihood of England availability and that’s obviously a big plus point for the county,” he said.

“You’d like to think that if those players are available and the others play to their potential, there’s a very good chance of some positive results.

“I think the aim for this year will be for them to try and piece together a more rounded season. Last year was a very successful one, as far as four-day cricket was concerned, but the limited-overs stuff was in stark contrast and was obviously very disappointing.”

Sayers, who retired in January, is currently working part-time as a coach with the ProCoach Academy before heading down to London in August to take on a job with the Citigroup finance company.

He has also signed with Bradford League side Farsley for three quarters of the summer.

“Although it is quite surreal to make the transition from professional sport at my age, it has been very smooth,” he said.

“It’s been nice to be able to go back to Headingley and be on good terms with everybody when I’ve seen them.”