Despite Notts County’s youth team losing 1-0 to Charlton Athletic under 18s in their second pre-season match on Wednesday, head of youth Mick Leonard has been hugely encouraged by the lads already.
Leonard even received a complimentary text from Charlton Academy director Paul Hart after the performance.
He told the Official Site: “It was nice to receive the feedback from Paul as he’s someone who has huge experience in the game, both at youth and professional level.
“He was very complimentary of the players, their performance and how they conducted themselves.
“I’ve been encouraged by the work ethic and team ethic that has already formed within the first few weeks of the season.
“All the lads are starting to get to grips of how we play and also the step-up with the pace of the game.”
The friendly was played in three 30-minute passages of play to give both squads the chance to mix-up the team. Notts held Athletic until the final third before Darien Neavin struck the winner.
Leonard added: “I think we more than matched them. It was fairly even throughout and we had chances ourselves to take the lead. Goalkeeper Harry Andrews was outstanding.
“We were solid without the ball, we passed the ball well, but we probably need to fine-tune our attacking abilities. This is something we will continue to work on, starting at Sheffield this Saturday.
“We don’t have the biggest squad, 15 players including a trialist, so we will bringing some Under 16s along with us and it will give them a great experience and valuable game-time at this level.
“The results aren’t important, but they are. Obviously at this stage we are looking at the fitness and performances, but we also want to breed confidence and a winning mentality.”