Grimsby Town manager Russell Slade says he’s happy that most of his squad featured in the club’s physical test last night as they beat Cleethorpes Town 4-2 at the Bradley Development Centre.
Town, who came from 2-0 down, beat the Owls with goals from James Berrett, trialist Harry Cardwell, Jamey Osborne, and Adi Yussuf, in their first pre-season friendly last night, and Slade emphasised the importance of the physical challenge that the game posed.
Speaking to iFollow, he said: “We’re training, it’s a physical workout, we’ve trained all day and then we’ve finished off today’s training session with everybody getting 45 minutes.
“It isn’t quite about performances at this moment in time. You’re wanting players to do the right thing at the right time and you’re wanting to see good habits and good decisions, but it’s six weeks of hard, solid graft.
“The important thing is everybody gets through the days and gets those under their belt so they can tick the day off and move forward again.
“I’m interested in the physical side to see how they develop from today and then on Thursday, Saturday, and next week to see them evolve.”
And the Mariners boss praised two new signings in particular, who have impressed him so far in pre-season.
“Sam Kelly’s numbers in training have been very good, and Mitch Rose’s numbers have been very good, in terms of the distance covered. They’ve been very good statistically with their running and fitness,” he said.
Slade also confirmed his interest in bringing Liverpool left-back Sam Hart to Blundell Park ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
“He’s on our list. He’s played in League One on loan from Liverpool and did okay, so that’s a position we’re looking for but there are others as well.
“We still need to make a few more additions to the group, which we’re hopeful but we’ll not panic, we’ll ensure we get the right ones. We’re pleased with the new boys and how they’ve settled in with the group,” he said.
Hart, 20-years-old, hasn’t made an appearance for the Premier League outfit, but had a loan spell at Port Vale last season where he scored one goal in 11 games.
Sam Jones was one of just three Town players who weren’t involved in last night’s victory over the Owls (alongside Harry Clifton and Ahkeem Rose), due to a knee injury, but Slade said the forward should be ready to play Grimsby Borough at the end of the week.
He said: “He picked up a bit of a niggly knee – he’ll probably play on Thursday, but we’re conscious that players don’t miss training and we’re getting the mileage into them.”