NEWPORT County AFC manager James Rowberry said he has learned a lot from this pre-season after his side’s back-to-back friendlies last week.

The manager fielded two different County elevens in the 4-0 over Weston-Super-Mare on Friday and the goalless draw away at National League side Torquay United on Saturday.

The matches were the first opportunity for his players to get a full 90 minutes in the tank, having focused on building up fitness 45 and 60 minutes at a time in previous games.

“It’s important with the games that we’ve got that there are certain things we can work on in-game and we demonstrated that on Friday night where it was a game where we dominated the ball but we’ve had to defend certain elements,” he said, reflecting on the weekend.

South Wales Argus: County players celebrate with goalscorer Lewis Collins in the win at Weston-Super-Mare. Picture: Newport County AFC.County players celebrate with goalscorer Lewis Collins in the win at Weston-Super-Mare. Picture: Newport County AFC.

“Saturday was more like your typical League Two game – a real physical, aggressive game where you’re away from home, you don’t get decisions for you and you have to defend your box for long periods with set-pieces.

“When we have got the ball, we showed glimpses of our quality but there’s always areas to improve and we will do.

“I’m happy to get clean sheets and happy that the lads have got 90 minutes in their legs and then next week we can work on the programme we need to, to get the lads a little bit sharper in 1v1s, 2v2s, 3v3s, and to build that element of the game up so when we get in tight areas around the edge of the box we can show our quality.”

County have so far beaten Undy and Hungerford, before losing late on in Cardiff. They travel to Forest Green on Saturday in a final warm-up before the League Two season gets under way.

Rowberry said he has been encouraged by his side’s progress across his first pre-season, especially with the arrival of eight new players.

South Wales Argus: James Rowberry as his Newport County AFC side travelled to Torquay. Picture: Newport County AFC.James Rowberry as his Newport County AFC side travelled to Torquay. Picture: Newport County AFC.

“We’ve prepared as best we can and we’ve done everything to the best of our ability as a staff and players, so I’m really pleased with where we’re at,” he said.

“It has been really good. I’ve learned a lot from the games in pre-season.

"It’s really important we don’t just play games which are easy for us, it’s important we play games that can stretch us and challenge us and it has.

“We’re mixing the teams up to see where we’re at, and now we’ll start nailing things down a little bit more.”