Axminster Town boss Josh Stunell is ‘delighted’ with how pre-season is going

Action from the pre-season friendly between Axminster Town and Ottery St Mary. Picture: SARAH MCCABE

Action from the pre-season friendly between Axminster Town and Ottery St Mary. Picture: SARAH MCCABE - Credit: Archant

Axminster Town boss Josh Stunell could not be happier with how his teams pre-season has gone so far.

The Tigers have won one and drawn three of the four matches played to date.

On Saturday, the Tigers drew 0-0 with Ottery St Mary at Tiger Way.

Stunell says of that game: “It was a very good work out against a mighty competent Ottery outfit.

“I said to our lads after the game that they have to be so pleased with their efforts. We had also played on Thursday night and, if truth be known, we could arguably have done with a further day’s rest before taking on Ottery.”

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The Thursday meeting with Western League Wellington ended 2-2 with the Tigers’ goals scored by Liam Daniels and Luke Finn.

“Stunell said: “Again, in very similar fashion to the draw we had with Willand Rovers, we were left feeling like we’d lost, conceding so late in the game.

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“However, once more, we played very well as a team.”

Speaking generally about the pre-season period, the Tigers boss says: “The one thing that has pleased me most taking the pre-season overall just now is the levels of fitness that the players are displaying.

“It’s something we need to be if we are to play a ‘high press’ game, something I am very keen for us to do.

He continued: “I am also delighted with how, this pre-season, the set of players we have, have shown a real sense of the importance of both understanding and the carrying out basic instruction which is a large part of the bigger picture.

“I know you hear many coaches use that old chestnut sentence of ‘pre-season results don’t matter’, but I do not subscribe to that view. All results matter – they certainly matter to me and, four games into this pre-season, we are unbeaten in four. “The problem with football is too many people make it too complicated. It’s really not – and if you create a team and do the basics right, you’ll not go far wrong.”

Looking to the future, Stunell says: “My one big wish now is that the folk who make the decisions can allow the FA and indeed our league bosses to set a start date in stone, allow us to have supporters into the grounds and please, let us get on with the business of winning football matches – in front of a crowd!”

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