Town Boss Dave Flitcroft declared his side’s 1-1 draw with Oldham Athletic earlier today as a good workout.
The Reds took on the Latics in a behind-closed-doors game at The County Ground at lunchtime and secured a draw thanks to an Ellis Iandolo effort.
It proved to be a good test for Town with certain players completing the whole 90 minutes, and Flitcroft felt the intensity of the game was just what his team needed at this stage of pre-season.
“The first thing I look at is the quality of players on show from Oldham, with the likes of Craig Davies upfront, Peter Clarke and Anthony Gerrard at centre-back and Oliver Banks in midfield,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk exclusively.
“It was an excellent team that John Sheridan put out.
“The biggest thing that surprised me was the intensity and the ferociousness of the game, which is exactly what we wanted.
“The first ten minutes caught us out and that was probably because of the two other games we’ve played previously and we went into today’s game with that mind-set.
“Once that shook us into a storm, we then got control of the game at times but we didn’t have enough intent in the first-half which disappointed me.
“We tried to dominate the game in the wrong areas of the pitch and Oldham played it with a real vigour and a real intensity.
“Second-half we understood that and Donal McDermott coming on really changed the game and he carried the game forward.
“He understands what I want, he plays with enthusiasm, he plays with a drive, he plays with a commitment and he’s a man’s man.
“He came onto the pitch and his aggressive nature just changed the game and gave us that punch we needed.
“We looked dangerous then and we started to dominate the game in their half, as opposed to our half, and the whole environment changed.
“It was a great test and just what we wanted.”
“The biggest thing that surprised me was the intensity and the ferociousness of the game, which is exactly what we wanted."
Ellis Iandolo made his first outing of the summer following surgery and he marked his return in fine style, netting Town’s equaliser in the second-half and Flitcroft was thrilled to see him back.
“The club supported him fantastically and sent him over to Germany,” he added.
“He’s probably three days in-front of himself and we thought his first game was going to be Salisbury on Monday, but we managed to get him on the pitch and he joined in well.
“Ellis is a bright player and one when I took the job and did my homework, he was one that I really wanted to work with.
“We’ll have him for most of the pre-season now.”
A number of players increased their workload today and Flitcroft is happy with the progress being made in pre-season.
“We’re live tracking the boys, we’re live tracking the data and we kept getting messages on that they were in the thresholds we wanted them to be,” he continued.
“A few of the boys have got 90 minutes, which is fantastic, and the rest of the boys are getting there.
“It was a great test and the marks are good from the data and the output. We’re on target for where I want to be.”