Tommy Wright believes Corby Town’s victory in their final pre-season friendly has given everyone at the club a “welcome lift”.
Having suffered defeats to ‘XIs’ from Leeds United and Leicester City, some concerns were raised after the new-look Steelmen also slipped to a 3-0 home loss to Brackley Town in their penultimate friendly.
But they bounced back in fine style at Steel Park last Friday night as summer signing Bidemi Afolabi grabbed both goals in a 2-1 success over a Nottingham Forest XI.
Wright and his men are now preparing for the big kick off in the Southern League Premier Division as they entertain Hitchin Town on Saturday.
And the manager believes that final victory couldn’t have been timed any better.
“We needed that win to be honest,” Wright said.
“The Brackley game hit the players hard because it was always going to be the one where they would be judged on where they were.
“There was a lot of tiredness in the lads after tough games with Leeds and Leicester so maybe I have to hold my hands up for organising those matches.
“But, like I said to the lads, would they rather have those games or play UCL sides and win 4-0 or 5-0 every time? They have gained a lot of fitness from playing against some very good players.
“They did really well against Forest and I think the victory just gave everyone a welcome lift. There was certainly a real buzz amongst the fans when I was speaking to them afterwards.”
Wright was also delighted for striker Afolabi, who opened his account for the club in fine style.
“I was really pleased for Bidemi,” Wright said.
“He is a confidence player and I really don’t want people to forget that he is a 19-year-old kid.
“I really rate him and that’s why he is here. I believe in him and I just hope he starts believing in himself a bit more.
“Those two goals will do him the world of good and I was delighted with the reaction of the fans and the other players. It has given him a real boost at the perfect time.”
Frontman Greg Mills missed the clash with Forest due to a knee injury and he will be assessed in the build-up to Saturday’s curtain-raiser while fellow striker Spencer Weir-Daley could also be fit after he suffered a shoulder injury during the defeat to Leicester.
Don’t miss our special eight-page pull-out as we look ahead to the new football season, only in Thursday’s Corby Telegraph