Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander praised new-signings Ryan Cresswell and Liam Hogan after their Highbury debuts in the 2-0 win over Coventry City.
The two defenders formed a centre-back pairing against the League One side and kept a clean sheet, as goals from David Ball and Antoni Sarcevic gave Town a convincing victory.
And with the Cod Army’s capture of Cresswell only coming this week, Alexander was pleased with how quickly the 25-year-old hit the ground running.
“I think that Ryan (Cresswell) played really well considering it was his first game and that he only trained with us yesterday. He’s a young lad so there’s still room for improvement, but he’s been a great addition to the squad.
“It was Liam Hogan’s first match here at Highbury as well and I thought he did just as well. The whole back four were fantastic on the night.
“There were good performances all over the pitch and we’re pleased because it was a different sort of game to the one against Preston North End (last Saturday).
“Coventry kept the ball very well and I was quite impressed with them, so it took patience and discipline from our players which we spoke about at half-time.
“As the game went on we seemed to look stronger which will hopefully put us in good stead for the new season.”
Alexander was originally born in Coventry despite making 40 appearances for Scotland at international level due to his Scottish father, and was able to catch up with the Sky Blues’ manager and former Scotland teammate Steven Pressley.
“I supported Coventry as a kid and they’ve got good people working for them and good supporters,” Alexander continued.
“I’ve had some great times with Pressley at Scotland as well, and he’s a great bloke. We used to talk about football for hours when we were on those long trips with Scotland.”
Fleetwood face one more friendly away to Southport before the new season kicks off on August 3, with former Town midfielder Jamie Milligan now at the Merseyside club. Another Town favourite, Alan Wright is at the helm at Haig Avenue with John Hills his number 2.
Alexander is looking forward to seeing his old midfielder once again and expects the 33-year-old to be up for facing the club he spent nine years with.
“It will be good to see Jamie Milligan again - he still has contact with the club. I’m sure he’ll be looking to play well against us because he is a very good player.”
And with Dagenham & Redbridge due at Highbury for the opening League Two fixture in just over a week’s time, Alexander believes his squad are ready for the new season.
“We’ve got quality all over the pitch and bags of energy in midfield,” he added.
“We’ve got goal scorers as well which is important because you don’t want to heavily rely on one or two players. You need goals from all over the pitch.
“We know the qualities that David Ball, Jon Parkin and Jamille Matt possess, and I was really pleased for David Ball for scoring against Coventry because he’s came back from injury, worked hard over the summer and is in exceptionally good shape.
“He’s been really lively and has got a great work ethic on the training pitch and the lads love him as well.
“I’ve been stressing to the team that it will take a squad to be successful this season. It won’t be 11 players, it will be 18, 19 and 20 players, so we have to keep pushing and supporting each other and that’s why you win games.”