Blyth Spartans manager Tom Wade was satisfied with the workout his side received in the defeat at the hands of North Shields in their opening pre-season fixture.
Their is a busy pre-season on and off the park ahead for Wade and his players and he believes they will improve as they get closer to day one of their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League campaign.
He said: “It was an excellent workout for us and the heat made it difficult for both sides.
“We decided because of the heat to give players 20-minute runs, and it wasn’t really about the result.
“The young players did exceptionally well. There are a few players who still have their Ayia Napa and Corfu legs on them having just got back from holiday, but they will all improve as the pre-season goes on.”
It was the younger players in the Spartans side who impressed Wade the most, with a couple of new signings being singled out for praise.
Former Bishop Auckland midfielder Ryan Cummings crashed home a low volley on his debut and former Robins winger Dean Holmes injected some pace and urgency to the Spartans side.
Wade believes that the enthusiasm and hunger of the new signings will raise the bar for their more experienced team-mates.
“The likes of Ryan Cummings and Dean Holmes were excellent and obviously they are here to fight for their places just as every player in the squad is,” said Wade.
“The younger players are keen and hungry to do well and the senior players have to match up to that.”
Wade was honest in his assessment of his side’s performance at the Daren Persson Stadium, and pointed to several factors that both he and new assistant manager Colin Myers will have to work on ahead of the new season.
However, the former Harrogate manager was firm in his belief that they will be ready come day one of the league season.
He added: “I’m not disappointed with the result because pre-season is about more than that.
“What I am disappointed with is making silly mistakes and our ball retention being poor.
“There were times when we were trying to force the issue too much, but we will work hard on that throughout pre-season, but we will get there and be a better side for it.”