We caught up with first team coach Paul Murray on Friday morning to get his thoughts on the Penrith friendly and on progress so far as the pre-season schedule continues to gather pace.
“We know we’re not where we want to be yet,” he said. “We haven’t done any work on shape so far because we’ve been concentrating on fitness. We had a look at things at Barrow on Tuesday, it wasn’t a great result, but we know we’ll get better as pre-season goes on and that’s what we’re looking for.
“Results don’t mean a lot in pre-season, although we would obviously prefer to be winning to help us to get that consistency. I was a pro for 20 years and I had some awful pre-seasons, then started the season really well.
"I’ve also had good pre-seasons and ended up losing the first four games of the season. You can never read into the results too much, but we know we need to be better than we were on Tuesday."
“We’ve obviously got another game at Penrith tomorrow which we’re looking forward to," he continued. "It was difficult to get the friendlies sorted, so we’re grateful to all of the teams we’re playing. Especially Fylde, because they actually changed a fixture to fit us in.
“I know Penrith is one the fans always look forward to because it gives them a chance to see the new players, and it isn’t far to travel. We’d obviously like them to be watching a few more new players, but we have got a few on show.
“The lads all want to play in the games, and we want to see them in the games, and we want them to do as well as possible. The intensity has got to be there in training and we’ve got to then transfer that into the games, which we probably lacked at Barrow."
On what he expects from the next few friendly games, he said: “We want to see good levels of enthusiasm, determination and passion every time the lads are in work. We’ve got those fundamentals as staff, and it’s a minimum requirement. Hopefully that will breed success throughout the club with everyone involved.
“We’re working hard to get new players into the squad, which is something we know we’ve got to do. We’ve got four or five young lads involved with us at the minute and numbers wise we do need a few more. We’re working behind the scenes to try and get them done.
“We’ve still got a strong nucleus from the players who were here before and they weren’t far off getting to the play-offs last year, However, we know we still need to add to that and we’re looking to get that done as quickly as we can."
And on being back where it all started, he told us: “I’ve settled in really easily. It’s been great so far and we want to bring that feel-good factor back to the club.
"That’s what I’ve come back for. Enthusiasm, commitment and all pulling in the same direction have got to be the cornerstones to us being successful.”
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