Nigel Adkins believes Hull City’s pre-season workout at Rochdale proved to be a worthwhile exercise - despite a 1-0 loss to the League One side.
The Tigers slipped to a narrow defeat at the Crown Oil Arena courtesy of Joe Rafferty’s 90th-minute winner and although he admitted that the result was not one he wanted, Adkins was quick to stress it was the fitness exercise as a whole that was of utmost importance as preparations for the 2018/19 Championship campaign continued.
“It’s a pre-season game and when you play these type of games all you want is to improve the fitness of the team,” he said. “From that perspective, it was another good workout for us.
“The starting eleven all got 75 minutes under their belt and then obviously we made the ten changes to give the other lads some time on the pitch which provided our youngsters with an excellent opportunity to sample playing against League One opposition.
“The players’ fitness levels are good though – we can all see that. That’s certainly not going to be an issue.”
Reflecting on his side’s overall performance, Adkins added: “There’s plenty still to work on and, from my point of view, we’re still building – that’s normal at this stage of pre-season.
“Results are never too important in these matches. It’s all about how you look to keep building on things. One of the major aims of the game was individual fitness and team fitness. We met that criteria which was good and a big positive for us.
“However there are things that we could have done better in terms of our performance. We gave the ball away far too cheaply, especially in the attacking third of the pitch. We also need to be more ruthless when the chances come our way. We had some good opportunities but just didn’t capitalise on them.
“The game was far too open for my liking and we were disappointed with the goal we conceded right at the death. We had a throw-in in our own defensive third, so to concede from that situation was annoying.
“We’ve all got to show a little bit of patience though. We’re working on one to two different things and with the number of new players being integrated into the team, you can see everyone is learning to play alongside each other.
“We’ve added some good players and characters to the group. All of the players want to do their best and impress, but maybe we’ve just got to understand how to work together as a unit that little bit better.”