Date:Sunday July 18 2010
The Hereford United manager Simon Davey remains optimistic about his squad, despite a pre-season defeat at the hands of Swindon Town from League One.
Swindon wrapped up victory with two goals in the last nine minutes, and were gifted a couple of penalties.
'The scoreline didn't reflect the performance. I thought for 60 minutes of the game we were well in it,' said Davey.
'I thought at half-time when we went in at one-all, that we should have been 3 or 4 up.
'We had some fantastic chances and that was the pleasing point about it.'
Although Davey rang the changes after the hour mark, using a total of 17 players altogether, he was keen to see how the game panned out in the early exchanges.
'We started with the core of our playing squad and we competed well and should have been in front.
'Unfortunately the disappointing thing is the result as it ended up 4-1.
'We probably shot ourselves in the foot at times with mistakes that shouldn't really happen, but when you take the starting centre-halves off, whichever combination that may be, it can become a bit disjointed.
'I took the opportunity of looking at another centre-back and I changed the system to a 4-4-2 to look at players in wide areas.
'Perhaps it disjointed us a bit as we aren't familiar with that at the moment.
'We ended up losing the game but there were some pleasing points too, with plenty of players gaining 60 to 70 minutes of game time.
'They need to get as much time on the pitch as possible during pre-season.
'They've now got to learn how to bounce back from losing games.'
Davey was disappointed by the way in which Hereford conceded goals late in the game, and the fact that two spot kicks were awarded against his side.
'I think one of the penalties was outside the box, and I didn't really see the first one, but the opposition shouldn't really be getting into those areas.
'So we've probably given away two goals there but I thought both keepers were close to saving the penalties.
'They nearly got to them, but it is the result that really disappoints me.'
However, United have now faced too highly successful sides in two home friendlies, something Davey feels his squad can take heart from.
'In a similar fashion to Swansea, we've now played two sides that like to play football and that's a test for us.
'It's not going to happen in League Two to often this season.
'The better teams do pose you threats you're not going to get asked on a regular basis.
'We've played two very good sides now. Swindon were just one game away from being in the Championship and I think they are going to do very well in the league again this season.
'That's the level that we want to aspire to, and so we have to test ourselves against teams like that.
'I was really pleased for about an hour with our performance, but obviously as the match went on we gave goals away and lost the game.
'In a league game you wouldn't be taking centre-halves and our best defensive headers off the pitch.'
United unveiled new signing Daniel Stratford prior to kick-off, with the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle midfielder showing some neat touches.
'I think Dan Stratford played well, but he can do better,' said Davey.
'I felt he could have moved the ball a bit quicker, and he looked, like a lot of our players a bit 'leggy' and a bit tired.
'But he got his goal and that's what we've seen from him.
'He can pass the ball around, move it quickly, and he is versatile with an ability to play in different positions, and he's got an eye for goal.'
Davey is looking to build a squad of around 20 contracted players prior to the npower League Two kick off in just under three weeks time.
'The important thing is how well we play from the 7th of August. We need to judge our fitness from then, but we need to see all of our players, so that's something we're looking at over the next couple of friendlies.
'Everyone needs to work hard on the training ground, and if they do they will get the results their efforts deserve.'
The Bulls now face two away friendlies this week.
First is an interesting looking game against AFC Telford at the New Bucks Head on Tuesday, followed by a match against Lydrook Athletic on Thursday.
Davey says he will be using the games to assess the overall fitness levels of his players, and gauge some insight into the capabilities of a number of triallists.
Date:Sunday July 18 2010
FLASHBACK: Ainsworth inspires Hereford (Thursday October 28 2010)
Capital date for Bulls board (Monday September 20 2010)
Capital date for Russon (Tuesday August 31 2010)
Video Vault; RIP Adam Stansfield (Thursday August 26 2010)
London Bulls Launched (Thursday August 26 2010)
Kovacs bullet seals Hereford win (Sunday August 8 2010)
FLASHBACK: Hereford run riot at New Street (Sunday July 4 2010)
Video Vault; The Bulls Crossbar Challenge 2006 (Thursday June 24 2010)
Video Vault; Bristol City v Hereford 6-May-1986 (Friday June 11 2010)
Video Vault; Northampton v Hereford 6-Sep-1992 (Thursday June 3 2010)
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