Ian Evatt welcomed the resilience shown by his side to hit back and win at Salford as the Whites continue to get battle-hardened for the new season.
Goals from midfield men George Thomason and Aaron Morley in the final quarter of a competitive game at the Peninsula Stadium extended Wanderers’ unbeaten pre-season programme with a 2-1 victory.
And Evatt was pleased with the outcome after his side passed up a handful of early opportunities to score before falling behind to the League Two side just after half-time.
“Salford are a really good team and they asked us some questions. It’s nice to come from behind away from home and show some resilience, because we’re going to need to do that in the season at times,” said the Whites’ boss.
“Salford do lots of good things in possession and are really well coached by Neil.
“I like the way they play. We started the game really fast and well and missed some chances where really the game should be over. But it wasn’t and we had to show a bit of resilience.
“We gave away another sloppy goal, which we’ve done too often in pre-season. But what we did do was show some character to come back and dominate the last half hour.
“I know they went down to 10 (due to injury) with 10-15 minutes to go but I thought the game was starting to turn and it was nice to get a victory. Winning is a good habit to get into.”
Evatt knows his side still needs to sharpen its cutting edge but the Whites still have two weeks’ work and back-to-back home friendlies this coming week against Everton and West Bromwich Albion to hone their sights.
“From our perspective, just once again it’s about being more ruthless and clinical,” he added.
“We know goals change games and we should have been out of sight. We’ll back them to score them when it matters.
“For now, it’s still about progression and fitness and, for me, from a player’s perspective that was the most educational game we’ve had in pre-season.
“It’s another step towards our end of goal of being ready for Lincoln on August 5th.”
Wanderers gave a first start to recent loan arrival Zac Ashworth, who got through an impressive hour’s work.
Evatt again shared round the workload with skipper Ricardo Almeida Santos and Thomason the only two outfield players given the full 90 minutes.
Striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson needed to be replaced before the half-hour mark with a hamstring strain and the Whites have their fingers crossed the Icelander isn’t facing too long on the sidelines.
“It’s doesn’t look too serious although, obviously, at this late stage of pre-season it’s not ideal,” confirmed Evatt.
“It’s disappointing when you pick up little niggles and knocks at this stage of pre-season. We wanted to avoid them as much as we possibly can, but these things happen in football.”