Iron manager Graham Alexander insists Saturday’s friendly against Hull City was a very worthwhile outing, despite slipping to defeat.Goals from Shaun Maloney and Abel Hernandez either side of half-time secured victory for the newly promoted Premier League side, on what was a warm afternoon at Glanford Park.
Keen to highlight the positives to come out of the match, Alexander told The Iron PlayerHD: “It was a tough test, as expected.
“Hull are a side full of international players so we knew we’d be physically and tactically tested and that proved to be the case.
“It was a very worthwhile game for us and we learned some things about the team and certain individuals.
“They had a lot of possession and I didn’t think we were committed to our game as much as we should have been in the first-half so we tried to rectify that at half-time.
“This is why pre-season games are there. If you went straight into the season cold, then all these problems would have to be ironed out there so we’re doing that as we go along.
“I thought there were some really good performances. It’s about stepping forward and I think we’ve done that from our previous three games.”
The boss was able to give vital time out on the pitch to most of his first team squad as more players got minutes under their belts ahead of the League One curtain raiser against Bristol Rovers in a couple of weeks.
Whilst admitting some are still finding their feet after the summer break, Alexander stressed he’s taking all performances on board as the new season draws ever closer.
“We’ve got players who haven’t played for a long while and a few lads who have only just joined the club,” he continued.
“Even though we have kept 80-85% of the squad together, a lot of these lads haven’t played for quite a while because the team was really settled for those last couple of months of the season.
“They’re finding their feet again and trying to get in the team and I need to see all these players. I’m still learning about the full squad at the moment and we took a lot of information today.
“I think only Murray (Wallace) and Luke (Daniels) played the full 90 minutes as we wanted to take a look at as many players as possible.
“We’re looking to get as much game time under everyone’s belt as possible. Some will get more than others but it’s about progressing everybody to be ready for the start of the season.”
United are now well into their pre-season programme and Alexander concluded by stating the importance of removing any issues going into the 2016-17 campaign.
He added: “These games are there to cause problems for ourselves and to see where we need to improve.
“Every team always has to improve, that’s the nature of these matches so we’ll pick the bones out of it and learn.
“We’re in a professional business and we have to make sure that when it gets to the Bristol Rovers game, we’ve ironed out any issues that are in the team.
“We’ll pick the best side possible and make sure everybody has had the opportunity to be in the team.”
See much more from Graham Alexander, David Mirfin and Luke Williams on The Iron PlayerHD.
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