Graves takes plenty of positives from Hucknall Town displays

Hucknall boss Andy Graves
Hucknall boss Andy Graves

Andy Graves says there have been plenty of positives to take from Hucknall Town’s pre-season friendlies this week, despite both ending in defeat.

A trip to face Redcar United, managed by former Yellow Roy Hunter, saw the hosts run out 2-1 winners, before Midland Football League Premier Division neighbours Long Eaton United won 3-1 at Watnall Road on Tuesday.

But manager Graves had few concerns over what he’d seen as his side continues their preparations for life in the East Midlands Counties League.

He said: “I’m not a fan of pre-season but it serves a purpose and we deliberately arranged tough games as they are far more use than rolling teams over easily each week.

“At Redcar we had a really good weekend away and played well but just weren’t ruthless enough as we could have been five or six up at the break.

“We didn’t have a recognised goalkeeper which didn’t he;p and had three or four youngsters with us too.

“It was the same against Long Eaton in that if we had the same players for 90 minutes we’d have done much better but again there were positives.”

Hucknall now prepare to host Linby CW at Watnall Road this Saturday with Graves keen to start treating games as if they were competive, given the new season is now just a week away.

He said: “We’ll treat the Linby game like a proper game and go as strong as we can, with no holding off.

“It’s a little local derby so Linby will be keen to get a scalp if they can and we will aim to be fully on it in terms of energy and commitment.”

The new campaign starts with a trip to Teversal on Saturday, August 3.