Ian Sampson felt there was “food for thought” after seeing his Corby Town side held to a 1-1 draw at Rugby Town.
The Steelmen fell behind to Seb Lake-Gaskin’s goal early in the second half but Leon McKenzie grabbed his first goal for Corby to earn a draw and maintain their unbeaten run in pre-season.
But manager Sampson insisted the game was a good lesson for him.
He said: “I knew it was going to be tough and I told our lads before the game not to underestimate them because they would have a point to prove and would want to show they are good enough to play in the same league as us.
“I didn’t underestimate them but maybe we did as a team.
“We salvaged something from it when we maybe didn’t deserve it but this was a lesson for me.
“I used players in different positions and different combinations just to have a look at them so it was a good for me from that point of view.
“The goal against us woke us up but it shouldn’t take that.
“There are things to work on and there are players who have given me a headache.
“The result is immaterial. There were some performances that were reasonable and some that weren’t good enough.
“It is food for thought but results mean nothing in pre-season and I have said that all along.”
Sampson, meanwhile, insists he is hopeful of completing a deal for midfielder Tom McGowan, who impressed as a second-half substitute.
But the Corby boss admitted there was little he could say at the moment about striker Ricky Miller’s proposed move to Steel Park.
“We are still looking at Tom,” Sampson added.
“I know him and I am keen to get him into the club if we can.
“As far as Ricky is concerned, it is an ongoing thing and there isn’t a great deal I can say about that at the moment.”