Matthew Bates bemoaned his side’s fifteen minutes of madness during their friendly defeat to Middlesbrough but insisted that shouldn’t overshadow a very positive pre-season.
The 5-0 reverse at the hands of the Championship promotion contenders came courtesy of a first-half hat-trick from £15million hit man Britt Assombolonga and a double from strike partner Ashley Fletcher.
However, Bates opted to focus on the positives in the aftermath of a first defeat in pre-season and said the players are now all ready and raring to go ahead of the big kick-off next weekend.
“I thought we started the game really well,” Bates told Pools PlayerHD.
“We had bit of a mad fifteen-minute spell at the end of the first half and beginning of the second and there are lessons to be learned from that.
“It was a good test for us; we came up against a very good Middlesbrough side but I was still pleased with a lot of things I saw, especially in the second half.
“It’s good for the lads really. We’ve had a great pre-season but this is just a little kick up the backside to remind everyone that we’ve not cracked it yet.
“It is all about building up to next Saturday now; the running is done, the lads are fit and we want to focus on getting off to a good start now.”
Paddy McLaughlin came on as a second half substitute after shaking off a virus which has kept him sidelined for a couple of weeks and will now come in to contention for the season-opener.
And Bates revealed that Andrew Davies’ substitution near the end of the Boro encounter is not a cause for concern and he expects the skipper to be on the teamsheet at Maidstone United.
“Andrew went off as a precaution really.
“It was coming to the end of the game and he had a couple of niggles so we brought him off but I’m sure he will be fine for next week.”