Southend United manager Phil Brown praised the energy and fitness levels of his squad following their final pre-season friendly against Queens Park Rangers.
Blues will play a behind-closed-doors game on Friday, but this was the last chance for spectators to see Brown’s side in action before Accrington Stanley on August 9th.
And Brown believes fans will have been pleased with what they saw following the 0-0 draw with Harry Redknapp’s side at Roots Hall.
Brown said: “Harry obviously had to juggle his squad with two games in two days, but we saw some of his big hitters, players who helped them win promotion last season.
“We had to mix our side about too, but the likes of Barry Corr, Will Atkinson and Ben Coker will be delighted to have got almost 90 minutes under their belt against quality opposition.
“It was important we worked hard without the ball and we certainly did that, but I was also more than impressed with what we did on the ball at times against QPR.
“I’m delighted with the energy and fitness levels of the players at this stage and I’m sure the fans will be impressed too. Hopefully they will have seen plenty of positives, because I certainly did.
“We will keep one or two of the trialists around for a behind-closed-doors game on Friday where they will get another chance. They all put their bodies on the line but I’ll be thanking one or two for their efforts and moving them on.”
Brown is now fully focused on a hard week-and-a-half of training ahead of that first game against James Beattie’s side. Blues’ boss says he’s very happy with how things have gone in pre-season, and hopes to bring one or two players in before the trip to the Crown Ground.
He added: “We’ll work extremely hard now in training to make sure we’re ready for that first game, but I know the players just can’t wait to get going now.
“Pre-season has been very successful for us. We’ve got a lot of good pictures and good signs from all the matches, and the work we’ve done on the training ground.
“We’re still looking to bring the right players to the club. We want to improve on what we had last season. Hopefully one or two will be through the door before August 9th.”