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Yates: We Are Getting Better

8 August 2012

Mark Yates believes his side are getting better all the times ahead of the competitive season

Mark Yates speaking after the 2-1 friendly win over Solihull Moors:

"Pre-season has been tough - as they always are. It's all about game time, fitness and not about the results. We are getting better but now it's about putting the meat on the bones.

"There were some really good things I saw tonight. We had a really tough week and, looking back on it, maybe it wasn't the best three games for preparation because all three showed real quality but the fitness levels were what I was looking for more than anything else. There are one or two things we know we need to keep working on such as shape but we won't be playing quality like that every week and I think there are a lot of positive signs.

"We keep track of how many minutes the players have done throughout pre-season and the majority have done at least two 90 minutes each. Tonight was all about sharpening them up and making sure we were nice and bright which I thought we were. Solihull play that 4-3-3 formation that we normally play and it really does make you pass the ball. I love it but I wanted to give all four strikers a run out. The good thing for me tonight was that all the play was in front of us and we were in control for 90/95% of the game. There were lots of good things and it's a step towards where we want to be.

"I want a midfield player and a goalkeeper but we'll see where we go. We played Jordan Hibbert tonight, a young holding midfielder and I thought he was excellent. He has been desperate to play and he has impressed us in training but his attitude is spot on. I'd like to see more of him obviously but we'll need to see where it goes. He wants to earn himself a contract back in the English pro game. We are getting phonecalls all the time about the goalkeeper but Connor (Roberts) has done well with what what's he's had to do tonight.

"I like my strikers to be scoring goals so it was good to see both Jeff and Shaun score tonight. I was delighted for Jeff because it wasn't just a tap in or a spectacular goal because it was one where he was involved with the play, got it wide, made his run and he's finished it well. You can tell Shaun just wants to score goals and he will bring an extra dimension to us. The bottom line is that he wants to be in and around the six yard box when the ball is there. I think they are all ready to start and I will pick a team that I feel can do us justice this Saturday. I will pick a strong team and one to try and win the game but it will be tough and we know that.

"MK Dons are a very good team with plenty of quality and they have a good way of playing. We are better than we were the last time we played them."

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