Paul Malone believes tomorrow’s friendly with Brackley Town at Steel Park will be more “realistic” for Corby Town as they begin their final preparations for the Southern League Premier Division campaign.
The Steelmen were beaten 4-0 by a Leicester City XI at Steel Park on Saturday, having also lost out to a young Leeds United side last week.
And while those games served their purpose in terms of fitness, Corby captain Malone is sure the clash with Conference North outfit Brackley will give his team a bigger indication of where they are.
Brackley’s team is likely to include former Steelmen Chris Carruthers, Sam Ives and Tom McGowan.
And Malone said: “We have got the game on Tuesday and then Nottingham Forest on Friday and it will be pretty much a full week after that to prepare for the first match of the season.
“Brackley will be a more realistic game for us against a side who are at the level that we want to be at.
“They have a few lads who will have a point to prove. I have three good friends who have signed for them but we have to concentrate on getting the best out of these pre-season matches.
“We want to win and get into that mentality of winning matches.”
Despite those two defeats to Leeds and Leicester, Malone believes Corby have shown signs of gradual improvement, even if the scorelines don’t say as much.
He added: “It has been tough in the last two games against players from Premier League and Championship sides.
“They may be young but they are in every day and you know you are testing yourself against what we aspire to be as young footballers.
“You know you won’t have much of the ball but we have shown some good signs in both games.
“Up until half-time against Leicester they only created one real chance.
“I think we have shown signs of improvement and, as a team, we are looking stronger.”
The Steelmen will be without striker Spencer Weir-Daley for tomorrow’s clash after he suffered a shoulder injury during the defeat to the Foxes.