HARTLEPOOL United have rediscovered the tempo and intensity in time for the League Two season, according to Stuart Parnaby.
Parnaby, 32, signed for Pools during the summer and has been encouraged by the pre-season itinerary and the balance within the team.
A week-long stay at the Spanish La Cala resort was the prelude to seven friendlies which ends tonight away to Spennymoor Town.
Parnaby admits that the level of performances have been short of what is need when the league gets underway, but says progression was evident during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Bradford.
“Bradford was perfect because Stevenage are similar, pretty direct, so it was a good test,” he said in the aftermath of the Bantams friendly.
“As a game it’s more of what we are going to get and can expect in the league.
“In the Sunderland and Middlesbrough games you don’t get much of the ball and you’re sitting back a lot.
“We needed to up the tempo and intensity to get up to the level to start the season at.
“It was a lot better in every aspect really.”
The change in scenery has not daunted the 2011 League Cup winner, rather he has embraced his new surroundings.
He added: “It’s been easy to settle in when there’s a few lads I know and when there’s a good set of lads.
“There’s nothing to worry about, just go in and enjoy the training and enjoy the banter which makes it pretty easy.
“It’s nice to be in a good environment with good people around me.
“The lads have gelled well and it’s a great set of lads.
“Everyone wants to do the same thing and achieve.”
One aspect of the team that Parnaby believes stands Pools in good stead is the mixture of youth and experience.
“We have a mixture of old and young which is good.
“Hopefully the older heads can help the young ones and they can help us with their legs.
“We have a good blend and I think we’re pretty much ready to go.”
- CHRIS BELL