Mark McChrystal's view on Cheltenham game and week in Wales
Reflecting on Tuesday night’s pre-season friendly against Cheltenham Town, defender Mark McChrystal said; “It was a good workout against a strong Cheltenham side.
“It was our first game and their third and I don’t think that there were too many differences between the sides and, overall, it was quite a positive evening for us.
“Quite a few of us played the full 90 minutes which was also good because the more minutes we get under our belts the better we will be by the time the first game of the season comes around.
“You don’t always play the full game in pre-season games but I felt quite good afterwards, apart from a little bit of tiredness.
“Training has been very hard in the last two weeks so I think that’s to be expected.
“It’s what pre-season is all about. You work hard and get as many minutes in games as you can.”
Those tough training sessions over the last two weeks seem to be paying off as the side put in an energetic performance at Whaddon Road.
Energy levels were impressive and the players also got through a great deal of hard work.
“We closed down the opposition very well and the hard work the lads have been putting in seems to be paying off.
“At the back I think we looked fairly solid and Steve Mildenhall was only beaten by a great strike from their player.”
The way the side kept their shape was also impressive.
“We have worked a lot on our formation and I thought we looked quite solid and kept possession quite well.
‘Macca’ was one of three central defenders in a 3-5-2 formation.
“I don’t think anyone should make too much of that shouldn’t make too much of that, as I think you need flexibility in the way you set up.
“There are times in games when there are changes in personnel and positions in order to affect the game, and you do all your preparatory work on every formation in pre-season so that everyone understands
The game itself proved to be a good one to watch, though let’s remember it was only a friendly fixture.
“Cheltenham are a League Two team and I thought that both sides played a lot of good football. However I don’t think you can read too much into anything during pre-season.”
All five of our new signings featured in the game and slotted in quite comfortably.
“They all seem to have settled in very well and the team has been together from day one and it’s as though everyone has been here for a while.
“It’s all good, but I think we have a few more players to come in which will make us even stronger again.”
Training and playing games is all geared up to making sure that we hit the ground running on 9th August and at the moment there is a very positive feel around the club.
“Everyone needs to play a certain amount of minutes in pre-season, so that we are all ready for the start of the campaign and Saturday’s game against Bath will give people another opportunity to show what they can do.”
The central defender, who skippered the side against Cheltenham, was speaking at the team’s base for this week at the University of South Wales.
The campus boasts some of the best facilities available and the squad has been made very welcome by the staff of the University.
“It’s good to get away as a group and spend a bit more time together. It gives you the opportunity to talk to players a little bit more than when you are back at home and going into training and home again.
“We are together 24/7 for a few days, which is good, and the facilities here are excellent.”
The full interview with 'Macca' can now be seen on Gas Player.