REDDITCH United stepped up their pre-season campaign on Tuesday evening with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Rugby Town at the Trico Stadium and it was certainly a step up in terms of preparation, according to Reds boss Paul Davis.
Davis, whose side were 3-1 home winners over Romulus on Saturday, said: “Like the majority of pre-season so far, I thought the players applied themselves well and produced moments of quality.
“Rugby Town were an excellent test for us. I am confident they would comfortably finish in mid-table in our division and will be a tough challenge for opponents in their league this season.”
Luke Keen scored his first goal of pre-season and Davis is hopeful the forward, who joined the club in June after scoring 18 league goals last season, will be full of confidence ahead of two more fixtures this weekend.
On Saturday (3pm) the Reds entertain Worcester City before a short trip to Evesham United on Sunday (3pm) for the Worcestershire Senior Cup semi-final.
Davis explained how he will juggle his squad ahead of two matches in two days.
“We head into this weekend with two tough games ahead of us. The squads will be completely different, then my staff and I have the unenviable task of trimming the squad down to 20 ahead of our last two pre-season friendlies and the new season.”
Davis described Saturday’s 3-1 friendly victory over Romulus as a “very good exercise” after some members of his squad completed 90 minutes for the first time during pre-season.
Goals from Giancarlo Gabbiadini, Leam Howards and Jamie Ashmore secured victory against the Midland Football League side, leaving the Reds unbeaten during this pre-season campaign so far, but Davis was focusing more on performance and fitness.
He said: “Of course, winning football matches is our ultimate goal, so I am pleased we showed a positive mentality and gained the victory.
“Our performance levels were decent, we dominated large parts of the game and scored some very good goals, but we need to move the ball quicker, be more clinical in front of goal and switch on defensively.”
Entrance to Saturday’s match is £5 for adults, £3 concessions and free for under 16s with an accompanying adult.
THE REDS will start their Southern League Premier Central campaign at AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday, August 11.
Home matches then follow against Barwell and St Ives Town on August 14 and 18 respectively.
A visit to local rivals Alvechurch awaits on Boxing Day and the Reds finish the season at home to Leiston on April 27.