United boss John Sheridan spoke more about work to be done following Saturday’s away friendly at Penrith.
“It’s very early stages again, and the pitch was very difficult with the way the weather has been,” he said. “It’s actually an excellent pitch, but the dryness made it hard for both teams to play.
“The good thing is that it’s more match time for the players. With no disrespect to Penrith I would have liked to have scored a few more goals, but we won the game and kept a clean sheet.
“As I’ve said before, you can see that we’re short in areas. I know what’s needed and I’ll be working hard to fill the positions where we need to strengthen, because the squad is short.
“There are a lot of young players who are in and involved and it will take them time to get ready. I totally understand that we need more but there’s only one thing I’m looking towards, and that’s the first game of the season.”
“The game was a good test and we passed the ball and moved it around,” he added. “You’d expect that against a team from a lower division and, as I mentioned earlier, I’d have liked more goals and to have created more chances to go with what we did.
“The weather was very hot, so it was a good run-out for the lads. Fitness wise it won’t do them any harm at all. We had some getting 90 minutes but, being honest, ideally I wouldn’t want that.
“Being short of numbers some players have had to stay on but hopefully it’ll end up standing them in good stead.”
With Richie Bennett, Jamie Devitt and Gary Miller having missed out through niggling complaints, he said: “They’re just little knocks and problems that we don’t want to make any worse by involving them.
“I’m hoping they’ll all be alright for the next game. They’re very close to playing, today was just a bit too early, but Dolly is working hard to get them fit and hopefully they’ll all be ready for the weekend.”
On trialist Dimitris Kotsonis, he said: “His agent got in touch with me and said he was over from Greece, so we thought we would have a look. He’s new to the lads but he did well.
“It’s difficult to judge performances against teams, with no disrespect to Penrith, who don’t really test us. We need tougher tests to make sure they’re ready for the level we want them to play at every week. Both him and Lewis [Walters] did but I won’t judge them on the performance.
“Charlie Scott isn’t with us anymore. It’s difficult when you’re coming into a group which has been training and you’ve been looking for a club, so you’ve missed out on bits of pre-season. That can mean you’re playing catch up, which leaves you a bit short. We need players who are going to be ready and fit straight in.”
“We’re still short of players, in my eyes we need five players to strengthen us in all areas,” he continued. “Even if we had everyone fit, we still need five players. I’m hoping they’ll be in soon. I’m working very hard to try and get them, but it’s got to be right for us, right for the player and in the right position. I’m working on that and I’ll be sorting that out.
“I’m not panicking because I know there are lots of players out there. We’ve got to make sure it’s the right deal for us financially, but first and foremost they’ve got to be the right player for us.
“I’m very close to bringing players in. I’m sure one or two people will be frustrated but I’m working hard. I’m talking to clubs and players but it’s just about getting them over the line.
“I’d like to get them in before Bradford, and hopefully before Workington so they can bed in, but the ones we’re looking at aren’t going to be behind our players because they’re keeping fit and they’ve been playing.
“I know we’re short and I think whoever comes to watch us at the moment can see we’re short. It’s not a negative because I’ll sort it out.”
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