Saturday’s away friendly saw Owen Moxon return to action following his short absence due to a minor hip problem.
“He hasn’t been away, has he!” assistant gaffer Gav Skelton joked. “It’s always good to see him playing.
“I think he missed a day’s training, that’s all, so that’s why he played 60 minutes. Jack Ellis is coming back from a hamstring injury he had last season, on a heavy pitch, and we’re conscious that we want to keep him ticking over.
“Gibbo, who was excellent first half, got a few studs in his ankle and it was bleeding quite heavily. He’s fine, it was just precautionary.”
The game against the young Magpies was the culmination of a week of work which had taken the Blues north of the border on a training camp.
“It was a really pleasing week,” he confirmed. “They’ve spent a lot of time together and it builds that togetherness, which is really pleasing.
“Then in terms of the game, it was good – just a chance to work on stuff. The first few weeks is about fitness and getting going, but this time we could work on bits of how we want to play, and start bedding in set plays and things like that, which will be vital for us in the season.
“Overall it was a really positive week. The game against Livingston was really good, really competitive, it wasn’t a friendly by any means. There were tackles flying in, second balls were contested, and it had a bit of needle, which you like to see.
“We got some good work done in terms of how we want to play through the sessions we had, and we were able to reinforce messages about what we want. It’s all about getting the good habits of what we do going again, and it all went really well.”