Positives can be taken despite heavy defeat

Darlo 1 v 5 Motherwell

Ahead of our game with Sunderland tonight here are a few thoughts after our game on Sunday.

Our pre season campaign got underway with a heavy defeat at home to Scottish Cup finalists Motherwell, but plenty of plus points came out of it.

It has felt like we have hardly been away, with the World Cup and England’s fantastic run, football has never stopped.

We have certainly had a busy summer with plenty of comings and goings so it was good to get back to action on the pitch.

Notably missing were Styche and Thommo but all the new signings got a good run out giving us the first chance to see what they can do.

In terms of the result you can’t take a lot from it, Motherwell looked fitter and just had that extra bit of quality you would expect from a full time outfit.

Some of our players looked a bit unfit but that’s what pre-season is for and we still have four weeks to go till the competitive action gets underway.

Harvey Saunders was certainly our bright spark. He always has bags of pace and energy but he was more involved on Sunday. His goal was all about him putting pressure on the defence, winning the ball and finishing well.

Jonny Maddison started his first game in goal for the club. He looked a bit shaky at the start with communication not quite there with his new defence, but it is the first game they have played together. However, despite conceding five he made several good stops especially in the second half after changes were made.

Jonny Burn like Maddison will grow into the defence. At times as a unit we were all over the shop but it as a new group of players starting together at the back for the first time.

Liam Hughes started in the centre with Dave Syers and the pair were overun. However his size and height alone means he should be able to play a huge part in both boxes. It will definitely be interesting to see who we start with at CM come the 4th of August.

Simon Ainge, like Hughes, will be a huge ariel threat. Again,as with CM, up front we have so many options and combinations we certainly will be able to change it more than last season if we are struggling in games.

Jordan Nicholson started but him and Alex Henshall who came off the bench struggled to make an impact, neither of them were given the ball much and will definitely have more to offer when we play teams that are our level.

The second half petered out with a lot of youngsters given a chance. Every outfield player was taken off leaving only Maddison playing the full 90.

A disappointing result but time together on the pitch is the main thing. A lot of changes have been made to not just the first 11, but the squad as a whole. Tonight will be another tough test but regardless of the result it will take us a step in the right direction.

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