Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer believed Tuesday’s stalemate at Tranmere Rovers was ideal preparation for the new League Two season.
Pool followed up their draw with Blackburn Rovers last Saturday with a 0-0 draw at Prenton Park.
They were given a decent test by a Conference top flight side fancied to do well this season – something for which the manager was happy.
“Out of all the games, this is the one I’ve really looked forward to because it’s probably the closest to what it’s going to be in our league,” Bowyer said afterwards.
“I knew I would learn a hell of a lot about the players and I certainly did.
“They (Tranmere) will be strong favourites as they were last year; Gary (Brabin, Tranmere manager) has a great team.
“They were in our faces and we have to be able to deal with that.”
With pre-season a learning curve at the best of times, not least for a new manager and his revamped squad, Bowyer admitted his players’ midweek performance was up and down.
While there was praise at one end of the pitch, the manager said things had to improve at the other end.
“Overall, we were just a bit off it compared to the levels and standards we set ourselves on Saturday,” Bowyer acknowledged.
“If this was a league game away from home, we’ve kept a clean sheet.
“That’s half the message to the players but I thought we were careless with the ball and didn’t create as many chances as we did on Saturday.
“I felt sorry for big Vass (Kyle Vassell) up front; I thought the service we gave him wasn’t very good to be honest.
“It’s pre-season though and I’m glad we’ve had that game now.”
Having scored against Blackburn, Vassell came closest to netting on Tuesday.
On this occasion, however, he was denied by the woodwork but Bowyer has backed him to be a threat in League Two this season – provided he receives the proper service from his team-mates.
He said: “We saw on Saturday what a handful he is; he showed glimpses again and had a couple of shots.
“I’ve learned he can smash a free kick and he’s had a great chance where he hit the post.
“He’s going to be a handful in this league but we’ve got to get better service up to him.”