Worksop Town boss Craig Denton says this pre-season has been designed to test and improve his players.
The Tigers were beaten for the first time in any game since December 2018 this week in a pre-season friendly against National League North opponents Boston United.
But, despite not reading too much into the scoreline, Denton would prefer to go up against teams placed higher than Worksop in the non-League pyramid than those below.
He said: “I only count losses when there is something on the line – either points or cup games.
“In pre-season games, I could have played teams that – with the utmost respect – are just teams below; however, we’ve not done that and we didn’t do it last season.
“We’re coming up against Boston, Sheffield Wednesday under-23s, Gainsborough, Matlock, and that’s to test us.
“We’re certainly not naïve enough to think we are just going to roll these teams over. We have been tested tonight and it improves us.”
Monday night’s game saw the Pilgrims race into a two-goal advantage inside the first quarter of the game.
Steve McDonnell pulled a goal back for the Tigers on 70 minutes as he fired a clearance into the bottom corner from the edge of the area before Boston registered again.
Denton said: “We knew it was going to be difficult, especially when we didn’t have the ball.
“They had trialists who were all doing their best to show what they can bring and they made it difficult.
“They had a lot of ammo with nine or ten subs on the bench while we had four, but we just made sure that we got a good run out.
“Could we match them? I thought we could and I think it was a respectable scoreline, nobody wants to lose.
“We were struggling in terms of centre-halves; we’ve picked up a few injuries too so we’re having a look at some trialists over the next few days.
“I’m really happy with the lads’ commitment.
“Macca [Steve McDonnell] came on and got a goal and we had a little bit of endeavour, but it was always going to be difficult against a very good Boston United side.”
The summer schedule continues on Thursday night with a friendly match against United Worksop.
“It’ll be a different sort of approach to the game on Thursday,” said Denton.
“We’ll have a handful of trialists. The players who have played this evening [against Boston] probably won’t be involved.
“This is a community thing that we need to do with United Worksop who are a local non-League team – it gives them an opportunity to play on here and hopefully it helps us learn some principles about how to play against a different side.
“We have to give them respect as a side and we will be professional and try to get as much as we can out of the game in terms of individuals and units.”