Hartlepool United skipper Billy Paynter’s pre-season verdict

Billy Paynter
Billy Paynter
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Billy Paynter says Hartlepool United’s pre-season has proven a success despite a 1-0 loss to Scunthorpe United.

The overall tally had a very balanced look to it - two wins, two draws and two defeats, both against teams higher up the divisions.

It’s pre-season, it’s the chance for the manager to work on different things, personnel and systems.

BILLY PAYNTER

But Paynter says while “no-one likes to lose any game” that results are not the be-all and end-all at this stage of proceedings.

The 31-year-old told SportMail that the summer weeks are about developing fitness and a familiarity with team-mates and systems.

“It’s pre-season,” said Paynter. “It’s the chance for the manager to work on different things, personnel and systems.

“He has options, go with a diamond, a 4-4-2, one up front with widemen, three at the back.

“These are the games to be doing this sort of thing so the lads will be used to it when we do it in the season.

“They have all bought into what he’s been doing.

“The manager is pleased with how it’s gone, we have given a very strong League One team a good game.”

Paynter was frustrated not to get on the scoresheet against the Iron. He looked in on 62 minutes, when he seized on a loose ball, only for Luke Daniels to produce a good save.

“I’m a bit disappointed not to have scored, the keeper came out well, but I was pleased to have a couple of chances,” he said. “We’ve had chances, especially after Nathan [Thomas] came on and stretched the game.

“We didn’t win but you want a good test and that’s what we got.”