High-tempo workout pleases the boss
By Matt Johnson
Town’s pre-season preparations continued with a thrilling 3-3 draw against Bolton at the Greenhous Meadow and boss Graham Turner was pleased with the testing challenge in the July heatwave.
The Trotters were 3-1 up at half-time despite John Marsden’s first goal for Town, but Paul Parry’s wonder strike and Akwasi Asante’s leveller inside the final 15 minutes meant a share of the spoils in what effectively acted as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming Capital One Cup meeting.
“It was a good workout in terms of the fitness and in terms of all of the things we did wrong in the first-half that we wanted to put right in the second half, mostly our defending.
“Our passing was good and we got ourselves into some good positions. It was pleasing to see three well worked goals.
“We’re fearful now that Akwasi has done a hamstring though. We hope its not too serious and the same with Jon Taylor with a slight groin strain. I think we caught them both early and I think they’ll be ok.”
Two weeks ahead of the big kick-off, the hunt for new signings is still very much on, and Turner suggested that despite the impressive early signs of his new strike pairing, he would like to bring in more reinforcements up front.
“We’ve still got the search on for another striker, maybe even two if we can. But from the signs that I’ve seen from both players, and to some extent Tom Bradshaw, its that we’ve got players up front who are capable of going in there an performing but we probably need at least another one.
“I’m disappointed not to have strengthened the squad before now. We did have a player lined up from Bolton, but unfortunately it sounds as if he’s done his ligaments this week. So we would’ve had a Bolton lad in this week, it wasn’t Tom Eaves, but it was unfortunate that we had one lined up and right at the last moment he suffered a serious injury.”
A visit from another Championship outfit in the form of Birmingham provides another tough pre-season test on Tuesday and Turner hopes a tighter defensive, and progressive, performance will follow.
“I hope we don’t concede goals like we have done today. I hope we’re a bit tighter at the back and work towards keeping a clean sheet, but again it’s pitting our wits against quality Championship players and we hope to progress further in the 90 minutes against Birmingham.”