Notts County manager Neal Ardley says this weekend’s defeats at Alfreton and York have highlighted a key weakness in his squad.
The Magpies were beaten 1-0 by Alfreton on Friday night before suffering a 3-1 reverse at Bootham Crescent on Saturday.
And Ardley, who deliberately selects physical opponents for the latter stages of pre-season, says the performances proved what he and his staff have known to be true all summer.
“We need to become a more physical team to be able to cope with the National League,” he said. “At York we got beaten up and out-run and the same happened at Alfreton.
“It was the reason we got relegated last season. We certainly need to man-up as a team.”
Ardley, who is set for further transfer talks next Tuesday, has not ruled out making a move for any of the club’s trialists, who were all handed another chance to impress over the weekend.
“They’re all there for discussion,” he said. “It’s not fair to single anyone out at the minute, but I think it’s clear we need to add some physical qualities to the squad.
“Can we find them in the next week? We’ll certainly work hard to. We’d like to get two or three in before Saturday to at least get us started on the right foot.
“We have to give up every hour to do it.”
Two players who have been hampered in their preparations for next weekend’s curtain raiser at Eastleigh are Matt Tootle and Kristian Dennis.
“Tootle felt his glute muscle [against Alfreton] – it didn’t feel right, so he came off,” revealed Ardley. “We’ll have to see how that looks next week.
“Kristian’s got a grade-one strain at the bottom of his calf – he felt it in the Ilkeston game. It’s obviously not ideal because he and Toots haven’t had the minutes but hopefully they’ll be back soon.”