Nicky Deverdics provided the bright spot for Hartlepool United in defeat at Harrogate Town with his first goal in pre-season.
But the gifted midfielder says the goals will only count when they come in the National League.
We’ve had a good run-out and, obviously, we are not at our sharpest yetNICKY DEVERDICS
Deverdics put a stunning free-kick into keeper James Belshaw’s top-right corner in the final minute of the 2-1 loss at the National League North outfit.
“Of course, it gets you up and running and it’s a nice spectacle, but ultimately it counts for nothing,” the 29-year-old told SportMail.
Josh Hawkes had taken the previous set-piece, though from wider out, but Deverdics has laid a marker for any dead-ball situations.
“Hawkesy scored some good goals last season for the young ‘uns, he has good technique, but if it’s in and around the box I’d like to be on them.
“I had an identical goal to that at Dover last season when I was on loan.
“I do have that in my locker, hopefully I’ll do it when it actually counts during the season, instead of on a wet Saturday in July at Harrogate.”
Deverdics said while there was disappointment in the away dressing room at the CNG Stadium, there was no need to worry at the defeat, given the squad is progressing nicely towards the start of the league programme on August 5.
“You never want to lose and the gaffer expressed that after the game,” he said.
“He hates losing but he said there were certain things he wanted to look.
“We’ve had a good run-out and, obviously, we are not at our sharpest yet.
“I’d rather get beaten now than the first game of the season.
“Yes, you want to win and keep the standards up but it’s all about fitness at the moment.
“The gaffer switched things around to make sure everyone got minutes.
“It’s all about getting the minutes in the bag, getting the lungs going, making sure we’re ready for the season.
“It’s only our third game in, we’re still finding our legs and Conor [Newton] has only just come in, he didn’t know any of the lads.
“But I think we are going on the right track and the gaffer is happy with a lot the things he’s seen.
“It’s all about aiming to be ready when it counts, August 5.”