Simon Grayson has warned Blackpool fans they might have to wait a few weeks for the best of James Husband.
Despite the absence of Marc Bola, the 25-year-old only started Saturday’s final friendly against Blackburn Rovers from the bench.
The left-back, who recently signed on a season-long from Premier League side Norwich City, did eventually make his debut as a second-half substitute.
But Grayson hinted the new recruit is likely to be short on fitness and Saturday’s season opener against Bristol Rovers could come too soon for him.
“Friday in training was the first bit of football he’s done in all of pre-season in terms of being with a group,” the Pool boss said.
“He’s previously been in a group that’s not done a great deal of work, small numbers, you can probably use the phrase ‘bomb squad’.
“But he’s kept his fitness up really well and he’s only going to get better.
“He’s a real fit lad and I know the lad who has been coaching him while he’s been at Norwich and he was full of praise for him.
“He’s a natural athlete anyway, it’s just going to be about positioning and picking players up but good players – which he is – will pick that sort of thing up very quickly.
“We’ve got a clear week this week so we can get some work into him and we will see the best of James Husband, probably not in the first game of the season, but a few more games in.”
With Grayson expecting to utilise a number of different systems this season, he says Husband’s flexibility made him a perfect addition.
“He wanted to come which is a massive starting point,” he added.
“He’s a player I’ve been aware of in the past and a player that has played at a good level in the Championship and earned a couple of good moves to Middlesbrough and Norwich.
“We just looked at the situation and he can play left of a three and left back as well as left wing back.”
Blackpool are still keen to add to their options at the other end of the pitch, with Blackburn Rovers striker Joe Nuttall thought to be a target.
But Grayson says the club can sign all the number nines they want but it won’t make a difference if the players behind them don’t create chances.
“I think it’s finding the right balance, getting the players in who will be clinical when the chances come along,” he said.
“We’ve improved the squad with Ryan Hardie coming in but you can have Premier League strikers in your team and still not score goals if you don’t create chances for them.
“It’s about playing a system that will allow our creative players to score goals themselves but also create chances for the strikers.
“But then we need to have the strikers in the team that are clinical when chances come their way.”