City of Liverpool boss Michael Ellison is pleased with the takeaways from their pre-season preparations.
Although results are the least of the concerns of managers up and down the football pyramid, the Purps manager is grateful for the lessons from their outings.
They make the short journey to Northern Premier League side Marine on Saturday in their final test before they kick off their campaign against Glossop North End.
Their pre-season has consisted of friendlies against Barnton, AFC Knowsley, Cammell Laird, Burscough, Merthyr Town, FC United of Manchester and Chorley.
But in each of their outings, Ellison has picked out positives, negatives and highlighted areas of improvement, he revealed to Off The Park: “I think we’ve had a bit of everything in pre-season, we’ve had some tough test, the pre-season has progressed nicely. We started off at Barnton and our last game was against Chorley so we’ve got better.
“Barnton were really good, Chorley were good as you’d expect, FC United was a different type of game they keep the ball well and the last few friendlies our intensity has got better and our fitness has got better. Another tough one again Marine on Saturday and hopefully, we can come through it unscathed and get that game intensity and be ready for the season a week after.
“The game against Merthyr was a real good game for us at the right time. We went there on the back of a few decent wins and they were a very good side so we learnt from that game.
“I spoke to the lads after it spoke about what we needed to improve on, we need to be better out of possession and since then they’ve improved that.
“That’s what pre-season is about. It’s nothing to do with results, it’s about the performances and improving each game. We’ve looked sharper, it’s getting to the stage now where if lads aren’t fit then that’s not down to us some of them will have to go out and get games or do their own things in between we’ve got to focus on Glossop and that’s what our focus is on.”
With the kick-off to their Northern Premier League West campaign a week away, there could be additions through the door. But the City of Liverpool manager is wary of the selection headaches, he concluded: “There might be one or two more, lads have down really really well so far. I’ve got some headaches, some tough decisions but good headaches better than the headaches I had last season.
“There maybe one or two coming before the start of the season but I think the problem is there’s 20 lads who can all play in our first team and like I say 16 into 20 doesn’t go.
“I’ve got some real, real tough decisions but anyone will tell you that you can’t get through the season with 16 players, I’m hoping the lads will understand that and lads are at different levels of fitness, missed pre-season for different reasons but we’re going to Glossop with a team we think can win the game and more than likely the side will change, hopefully the lads buy into that and if they do we won’t have any issues.”