Knaresborough Town manager Brian Davey said his squad has never been fitter in pre-season ahead of Saturday’s Harrogate Railway friendly.
Town come into the game against their Evo-Stik League Division One North opponents in high spirits after beating Sherwood 2-0 in the Charity Cup Final on Tuesday.
Davey’s men have enjoyed a mixed set of pre-season results after first beating Boroughbridge 2-0 in Thursday’s Sadie Rose Cup final.
However, that result was followed up with defeat in Saturday’s Toolstation Cup final against Bristol Manor Farm when an eighth minute goal condemned Town to defeat.
Despite the defeat, Davey praised his side’s second half display and said it was a good opportunity to test a new formation.
He said: “Some of the players looked a little out of position on Saturday so in the second half we switched to a 3-5-2 formation and we looked a different team.
“In the first half we didn’t get forward enough but when we went to the new formation we suddenly had the majority of the ball and I thought we were outstanding.
The most important thing without a doubt is the performance rather the result however. One or two of the players looked down after the game but we had definitely learnt a lot from it.”
The new formation presents a different option for Brian Davey as he looks to get the most out of his players heading into the new season.
He said: “Changing the formation gives us more opportunity as we have quite a lot of players who can play in different positions.
“We were so solid at the back, we had the best defence in the league last year and we have a new keeper now who kicks the ball well and looks like a great player.
“This formation will suit our strong back three so hopefully we can get two full backs who are capable of playing as wing backs and we can use it to our advantage.”
Earlier in the week, a Knaresborough reserve side retained the Sadie Rose Charity Cup in an evening kick-off at Manse Lane.
After a comfortable 5-2 win last season, this season’s affair was much tighter but long-range goals from James Watson and Ed Marau sealed victory.
Davey is now looking ahead to the game against Railway and said it will be a good opportunity to get things right before the season starts.
He said: “ The boys are very fit but we just need to get people into matches.
“We have plenty of players to choose from but the four or five who missed out on Saturday will get a chance to play this time.”