Post Darlo Craic

Jack Ross was disappointed with the 1-0 friendly defeat at Darlington and he admitted it showed the weaknesses of the squad. “First of all, you’re disappointed to lose any game - pre-season friendly or competitive games – and that’s the kind of mentality we are trying to create within the group,” said Ross. “We were very poor in the first half hour, very passive. Darlington played it like a competitive game and we played it very much like a friendly. Thereafter I thought we were OK. In the latter part of the first half and the early part of the second half we were OK without being good. We’re still a way away from where we need to be at, but I understood that when I took the job. You can see that from where we are squad-wise in terms of numbers. There are a lot of factors at the moment that are preventing us getting things together as quickly as we want to. We need to improve lot on what we have seen tonight to be ready for the first game. We have a lot of attack-minded players but very few out-and-out strikers, which will be very important to us next season. You can create a lot of chances but if you don’t have goalscorers then it doesn’t matter very much. We huffed and puffed a bit in terms of looking like scoring. You can see we are also light in central defence as well. I’m pushing as hard as I can to strengthen those areas because I really want to bring them in sooner rather than later, because if they don’t come in until the start of the season there is less time for them to gel and for you to see who you want to play. It’s part of the transition period we are going through at the moment and I knew that when we came down.”

Meanwhile, Ross has admitted that Joel Asoro will leave for Swansea City in the next 24 hours. “We made the plans yesterday for today’s game and Joel was scheduled to play the last half-hour, but things have moved on in terms of him possibly leaving the club. It’s not agreed and finalised, but it looks more than likely that he will leave the club. I’d say it [Asoro’s departure] was inevitable. There’s been a lot of time and energy spent on those that will leave the club, which is understandable. At the moment I need to try and get the best out of what I have and hopefully in the next week to 10 days there will be things imminent.”

Former Blackburn and Port Vale striker Anton Forrester is on trial with us at the moment and Ross gave him an hour long run out at Darlo. He said: “Anton only came in and joined in with the group yesterday, so he’s only had one day’s training with us. It was an opportunity for us to have a look at him and we will have another chance to do that on Saturday. We’re very light in numbers in that area at the moment so it would be remiss of me not to take the opportunity to take a look at him.”