BOSS Darren Byfield said his Redditch United players are showing him exactly what is required at this stage with the Southern League Premier Division kick-off just over a week away.
The Reds performed impressively in Saturday’s Worcestershire Senior Cup final at Bromsgrove Sporting against Kidderminster Harriers as they were beaten 4-3 on penalties following a 0-0 draw, before securing a 3-1 victory at Highgate United on Tuesday thanks to goals from Jason Cowley, Cameron Young and Isaac Cooper.
“Regards the fitness and physicality of the players, they are exactly where I want them to be at this moment in time,” said the former Aston Villa and Walsall striker.
“Their tactical awareness is coming on well and the tempo has been good despite the fact it’s pre-season.
“Against Kidderminster, we were superb and really should have won, we just let ourselves down a bit with the finishing. It was a youthful Kidderminster side but still one which had beaten Stourbridge, so it was an excellent effort.
“I was also pleased with what I saw against Highgate. We had a few niggles at the back which I didn’t want to take any risks with so I played 90 minutes at centre back, but I won’t be coming out of retirement!”
Meanwhile, Byfield, who has completed the signing of former Birmingham City and Kidderminster forward Reece Hales, told the Standard he was seeking another addition to his squad which would make him “very happy” if it comes off.
The manager was boosted this week when attacking midfielder Reece Hewitt, who has impressed in pre-season following his summer switch from Bromsgrove Sporting, opted to stay at the Valley Stadium by rejecting a move to National North outfit Worcester City.
“We received seven days from Worcester to talk to Reece but he has chosen to stay put and I’m delighted,” said Byfield.
“Reece looks like he’s going to be a very useful player for us and it’s a real positive he has decided to stick with us.”
THE REDS are set to play their first home game of the season – on Saturday, August 6 against Chesham United – at Stratford Town as work continues on the Valley Stadium refurbishment.
If so, it means Redditch will play twice at the DCS Stadium in the space of four days as they then visit Stratford in their first away game on Tuesday, August 9.
Redditch’s second home match – against Kettering Town on Tuesday, August 16 – is set to be played at Bedworth United, although neither match switch had been 100 per cent confirmed as the Standard went to press.
United play their final pre-season match at Bedworth this Saturday.