How Much Should We Read into Pre-Season

Vellios and Cash celbrate goal v Girona
 This is the every present annual debate. What do we read into pre-season friendlies? Clubs are so quick to mock other clubs for losing embarrassingly to some minnow, no matter how many changes or young players were used.

We have had a successful preseason so far. In the old days we’d go on tour of Sweden or suchlike playing Swedish lower league teams and beating them 14-0, whereas at least these games seem somewhat competitive.

We’ve not had any huge embarrassments. Like when Alfreton beat Sheffield Wednesday 14-0 6back in 2011. But we have only beaten two League Two teams by modest score lines. We beat Girona, who are admittedly a La Liga side. The game against Burnley tomorrow will be quite telling.

The last time we made the playoffs we had an awful pre-season. We lost to Tranmere, Peterborough, Kidderminster, Lyon and Swindon. It genuinely does not translate to form in the League.
The season before when we finished third we failed to beat Notts County and Rushden and Diamonds, yet beat Sporting and Birmingham.

It is a chance for players to have built an understanding. Playing well is no bad thing as players will gain form. The midfield understands the attackers move, the goalkeeper builds an understanding with defence. The defenders get to know each other’s game. Training can only do this so much. So if we are melding already, surely that bodes well?

Last year we had similar results, losing to Hull in our final preseason game. So should we narrowly lose to Burnley, no matter all the good feeling would that then mean that we could read that we will have a similar season?

Well no not all, there’s a multitude of reasons why things will be different. Of course a different manager who will not decide to change the team every game. Also hopefully we won’t sell off an Oliver Burke on the eve of the season. The club was in such turmoil with protracted take overs being on-off which could have influenced player’s emotion.

This is a chance for players to learn each others game, build fitness, and find some form. Winning is a bonus, it’s not a necessity.