Craig Harrison is looking forward to Saturday’s friendly visit to St Johnstone and says the McDiarmid Park friendly is the perfect way to continue the step up in their preparations (2pm kick-off).
The Pools boss knows exactly what kind of test awaits them North of the border but says that, with just a fortnight to go until the start of the season, it’s an ideal fixture for the players.
“It’s another tough test but that’s what we want,” he explained.
“We don’t want to just be comfortable in games now, we need to be tested physically, mentally, technically and tactically and that will happen at St Johnstone.
“They’ve been back in pre-season for about six or seven weeks now and played in the First Round of the Europa League a month so they’re well prepared.
“It will be a good challenge but it’s always nice to go to a new stadium and play different opposition so it’s an appealing fixture on a few different levels.”
Harrison was happy with the way his team performed in their last outing against Sunderland, despite seeing them slip to a late 2-1 defeat at Victoria Park on Tuesday.
However, there were plenty of positives to be taken from their tussle with the Black Cats, notably the manner in which Pools fans have responded to the display.
“It feels like we’re getting there slowly but surely.
“The first game at home on Tuesday was great in front of so many supporters and I think the lads made the first step towards a positive start.
“A lot of our lads are from the North-East so they already know but I’ve told them that people from this area will forgive a lot if they see players giving their all like they did.
“It was nice to score the goal for them and hopefully that gave us all a little taste of what we’ve got to come.”
Jack Cassidy is part of the travelling squad after shaking off a hamstring problem and Nicky Featherstone will also feature as he continues to build fitness after a double hernia operation.
However, there is no place for midfielder Luke George who is left behind to have treatment on a calf concern which has kept him out of the last two friendlies.
Two new trialists will be part of the Pools squad at St Johnstone too, with goalkeeper Matt Gould and Canadian centre-back Kosovar Sadiki set to get some game time against The Saints.
Admission prices at McDiarmid Park are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions, with Pools fans encouraged to enter the stadium via the North end of the main stand.
Pools: Loach, Catterick, Gould, Adams, Richardson, Harrison, Laing, Magnay, Sadike, Risborough, Deverdics, Featherstone, Hawkins, Newton, Woods, Donaldson, Mondal, Cassidy, Amond, Travers.