Date: Thu 18 Jul 2019

By David Simpson

Pics boss pleased

Liam McDonald is happy with the progress that his team are making during pre-season.

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Hard-earned victories over Highgate United and Walsall Wood this week have put us in good heart for our latest challenge at the weekend as we head to Worcester City “The conditions were tough at Highgate,” admitted McDonald. “We played on their training pitch and used the game as a chance to find out about the new lads’ attitude and how they applied themselves.

“In the end, I was delighted with the application; we worked hard and although it was a scrappy game at times, we remained focussed and stuck to our principles. “It was a great goal to win it, we worked the ball from side-to-side and opened them up, which was nice to see. “The game took a lot of energy out of us and it probably explains why it took us a while to get into our stride in our next game at Walsall Wood. “In fairness, we had an opening 45 minutes to forget but questions were asked and in the end, we answered them to run out worthy 4-1 winners.

“We never really got into any rhythm early on, which was probably because our hosts came out on the front foot. “For the first time we looked a bit unsure in possession, but we spoke at half-time about getting onto the front foot and taking a few more risks, which we did. “Our work-rate was much improved after the break and we started to do all the things that we have worked on.

“We kept the ball well and scored some good goals – one of them involved over 20 passes in the build-up – and in the end, I was delighted. “It was another game where we got a lot out of it; it’s another step closer to where we need to be in terms of match fitness for when the season gets underway. “It’s good to see us sticking to our beliefs and philosophy.”

Danny Waldron has been in good goalscoring form so far this summer and he came in for special praise from the Gaffer. “Danny is looking sharp, fit and he really has the bit between his teeth,” he said. “He has now got players around him who are going to cause defenders problems. “Teams will no longer be able to double up on Danny because there are other players that need attention and it gives him that bit extra, which we have seen in our games so far. “He’s started like a house on fire and hopefully it will continue into the new season.”

Saturday’s test comes in the form of Midland Football League Premier Division outfit, Worcester City, a team that McDonald once served as a player. “It will be a tough test,” he added. “They did well during the week against Stratford Town, so we know what they are capable of. “Saturday’s game will give us a benchmark as to where we’re at and will be another important part of our preparations for the new season.”

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