Gary Bowyer has praised the first-class effort and attitude of his players ahead of the team’s season opener at Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow.
A changeover in playing personnel has resulted in 12 new additions to the squad for the 2018-19 campaign, so time spent together has been invaluable.
“The effort from the players this pre-season has been first class, their attitude has been really pleasing in terms of their desire to improve already and gel as a team. We’ve had several that are new to the group but they’ve really impressed me with how quickly they’ve settled in,” the manager said.
“The most important thing is that you show patience and support for them because of exactly that. We’re still learning about each other and that will only get strengthened by the more games they play.”
The experience of Jay Spearing and Jimmy Ryan will no doubt prove crucial in knitting things together and driving things forward. The latter has missed the last few pre-season games though and will be assessed again ahead of the big kick-off.
“Jimmy Ryan has got better this week from last week. He’s a wonderful player for us and his passing ability and his range of passing is second-to-none in this league in my opinion. He’ll be a big player for us again this season so it’s important that we look after him properly,” Bowyer admitted.
The visit to newly-promoted Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow will be a good test for Pool’s squad, with Gareth Ainsworth’s side no doubt looking to carry over their momentum.
“Gareth is one of these managers that doesn’t get enough credit for what he’s achieved over the years at Wycombe. Gaining promotion last season was a fantastic achievement and they’re going to be buoyed and buzzing with the fact that they are going into a new league, like we were this time last season.
“They’ve managed to keep a big core of the group that got promoted, so they’re going to know each other’s games, and that’s something we’re going to have to deal with,” the manager added.