Captain Conor Tinnion described last night’s well-contested encounter with Penrith as ‘exactly’ what the team needs ahead of the new season.
The 28-year-old, appointed skipper by first team manager Danny Grainger this summer, was involved in his fair share of skirmishes at Frenchfield Park as things got fierce.
Regardless, he was well aware of how beneficial the competitive clash could prove heading into the new term.
You can’t have all of your friendlies knocking about with nice football, then get to the first game being a battle and not being ready for it.
It got a bit tasty at times but we enjoyed it – it was nothing was ever anything over the line.
The referee [Cumbrian Anthony Backhouse] had a couple of things that maybe would’ve resulted in a few bookings in the league but it was exactly what we need.
The central midfield playmaker was pleased with Reds’ resolve and described the match as ‘good preparation’ for the 2019-20 campaign.
I think it was a completely different game to Saturday. Although it was a loss, I don’t think it was a disheartening loss. We can probably take more from Saturday than tonight.
I thought we were sloppy tonight, certainly in the first half but they were a different opposition [to Barrow] and we’re gonna come up against both; where we’re allowed to knock it about like Saturday and how it was a bit more of a battle tonight.
Both are good preparation for the season, you can’t read too much into it – win or lose – as long as the performance is there.
The real positive from tonight, even though the football was disappointing if we’re honest, was that we seemed to show a bit of fight in the second half, and we’re definitely going to need it this year at some points.
On pre-season as a whole, Tinnion expressed that he was ‘surprised’ at the swift transition the squad has made since the new boss came in.
I think I’m probably surprised at how quickly we’ve picked up the completely different style of play and I’m impressed with how we’ve adapted to it.
Danny’s got some strong ideas and I think he would probably admit himself that he thought it might take a bit of a while to get in.
It’s just a massive positive how quickly it’s coming together and it’s given us a boost in pre-season so we need to keep it going.
I think it’s massively helped how fit the lads have come back. I’ve never seen us come back as fit, so I think that’s given us a head start because you need to be fit the way Danny wants us to play.
On the role of captaincy at Borough Park, the new skipper said it was ‘a massive compliment’ and outlined his thoughts on the responsibility.
I’m really proud to have been asked but it’s just one man [as captain], there’s quite a few who can step up and I’ve played under some great captains. When you’re struggling, you look to when things aren’t going too well.
More than anything, it’s a massive compliment that he’s trusted me with it and I now just need to not let him down and try to be the link between the lads and getting Danny’s ideas across.
Reds next travel to Durham as they visit Northern League Division One side Consett this Saturday at the Belle View Stadium, kick-off 3pm.