Cobras boss Dave Hoole is taking the positives out of Saturday’s 6-1 friendly defeat at home to AFC Mansfield.
The Cobras trailed 4-0 inside 30 minutes following clinical braces by former Alfreton Town player Ben Algar and prolific striker Ross Duggan.
We did pull a goal back two minutes before the break when a poor clearance went straight to Jack Warwick who put the ball in the empty net.
The NCEL Premier Division side hit two more in the final ten minutes through Owen Clarke and a Morgan James penalty to seal a comprehensive victory.
But Hoole was keen to take the positives out of what was always going to be a tough test for his new-look side.
“From our perspective there are a lot of positives to take out of the game. We set ourselves benchmarks and there are a few things we need to work on,” he said.
“We need to be a little fitter and sharper, overall the scoreline didn’t reflect how the game went on. Their finishing was probably the difference.
“We are here to learn, we are here to progress and there are plenty of positives and we will learn from that game.
“We have had a lot of lads who come in and we have a big squad at the moment, we will get it down to a reasonable size squad.
“There was no pressure, we wanted to go out and enjoy the football. I told the players to play for their shirt so any pressure was what they put on themselves.
“We had new formations and new faces. We have to work out which formations works best for what we have.
“We have got to work with the players that we have so we have a bit of work to do as coaches and managers.
“I’m sure we will improve game by game, and with each training session, and be ready when the season comes.”
Hoole also backed AFC Mansfield to mount a title challenge this season.
“AFC Mansfield have got a very good experienced side, with lads who have come down from a higher level.
“They have a squad which I think will be up there challenging for the title this season.”
We next face Basford away on August 12 against what is likely to be a team made up of U23 and fringe players.
Thanks to Stephen Thirkill, Chad Sport for the article.