NEWPORT County manager Justin Edinburgh wants his side to be more patient in possession when their pre-season continues at Basingstoke tomorrow evening, writes Chris Kirwan.
The Exiles travel to the Soccer AM Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm) on the back of a 2-0 triumph against Gloucester City in Cinderford.
The success, earned by a brace from substitute striker Rene Howe, ensured they keep their 100 per cent pre-season record but the manager admits there are plenty of work-ons ahead of the League Two opener against Wycombe on August 9.
Edinburgh said: "It was another successful workout in terms of fitness but we were not at our best in terms of possession of the ball in the first 45 to 50 minutes, which was disappointing
"The ones that came on used the ball better and created chances, while defensively we looked very solid and I liked the look of our shape, but the first hour was disappointing (with the ball).
"I am being critical but that's the way it's got to be in pre-season, we have got to keep progressing and make sure we are at it.
"We can't just turn up against Wycombe and think that we can pick up the pace – we have got to shift through the gears now because the start isn't too far away now."
Edinburgh used 21 players in the Forest of Dean, including triallists Chris Jones and Jacob Cleaver, and says they need to impress as the preparations for the Wanderers intensify.
"This is a very talented squad, competition is fierce and if you get left behind it's a long road back into the side," warned the manager.
Forward Danny Crow has not featured since the pre-season opener against Evesham because of a back problem but is not too far away from a return.
Defender Byron Anthony should feature in Basingstoke, as should striker Aaron O'Connor after he missed the Gloucester game for personal reasons.