Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray has been impressed by both left back trialists he has used over the past week
With regular left back Mal Benning resting a minor knock, Murray has no cover there so has run the rule over a pair of available, but unnamed defenders.
One played in the 1-0 home defeat by Hull last week and another was given an outing in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Alfreton Town.
“I thought the lad did really well on Saturday,” said Murray. “He was technically very good and very combative.
“It was a very good performance. To come in and just play with a group of new lads is tough and I think the two left backs we’ve seen have been pleasing.”
He continued: “I am doing a lot of weighing up at the minute. I am weighing up up who are going to have the 11 shirts at Newport at the minute.
“There are two weeks to go and there’s a lot of work to do. Individuals need to show they want to be playing in that first game of the season.
“Certain people have stepped forward and certain people need to do a little bit more.”
Murray said a decision on whether left back cover could be signed was down to the chairman, John Radford.
“I have not isolated one area I think we need to fill,” he said. “Obviously Mal is injured at the minute, and we haven’t got another left back at the club, hence why we’ve had two in on trial.
“We’ll look at the squad, but ultimately I won’t make the decision. Of we can bring somebody else in that’d down to the powers that be.
“We have 20 players, so if we can we’ll look at it, if not we’ll deal with what we’ve got.
“Mal is obviously a big player for us, so it’s more precaution than anything that we’ve left him out.”
On the bruising draw at Alfreton, Murray said: “It was the exact work-out we expected.
“We knew this one would be the most realistic game. It was physical at times and we had to deal with a lot of direct balls, which we haven’t come across so far this pre-season.
“So we knew it would be more of a League Two-style game which we wanted. It was a good test for us.
“I thought at times we could have been better with a few things, but it was good to see the areas we need to work on. But we showed some really good play at times.
“Once we finally got to grips with it, we coped and put ourselves back onto them. We got out the game what we wanted to get out of it, but we can pick in holes in that to make us better.”
He continued: “Obviously with the weather I think the game at times was a little bit sluggish. The pitch was lovely but, with the heat, it was very sticky and very dry which slowed the tempo down.
“But overall it was another good work-out and another game we’ve got something out of, so I am pleased.”