AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor was impressed with the approach of his side during their second friendly of pre-season against Rochdale at the weekend.
Though the Coasters slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Mill Farm on Saturday, Challinor believes his side more than matched their League One opposition ahead of tonight’s home game against Bolton Wanderers.
He said: “We didn’t want to lose, it’s as simple as that, but the lads that played for the first hour will have taken an awful lot from the game.
“The lads that played for the last half an hour will now swap over and play for an hour tonight and will need to produce the same high tempo.
“It’s always difficult when you make so many changes during a game.
“The tempo dropped when we made the substitutions, which was a little disappointing because we had fresh legs out there.
“We were very good in the first half and played with a real intensity.
“We can do a lot better in the final third, but there were plenty of good signs and I am pleased with what we took from it.
“It is encouraging to see that we have players that are more than capable of coping against a League One side.
“We trained yesterday and now we come up against a very strong Bolton team.
“Our players will need to push themselves to the limit of their ability and fitness to compete.
“They need to push those boundaries in every training session and every game between now and the start of the season so that we are ready.
“It will be a big challenge and we need to be right at it.
“We need to go into these games knowing what we want to take from them, regardless of the opposition.
Challinor was also pleased to see midfielder James Hardy and goalkeeper Jay Lynch make their first appearances of the season.
He said: “Another positive from Saturday was seeing James Hardy and Jay Lynch get some minutes.
“James is still behind and that was quite obvious, knowing how he can be when he’s fully fit.
“We need the lads to be able to get around the pitch and he isn’t quite ready to do that yet. When he can, he will be a really big player for us.
“Jay picked up an injury earlier in the week but was fine for the game and looked comfortable.
“He didn’t have a huge amount to do but what he did, he did very well.”