Markus Henriksen believes the Tigers produced their best performance of pre-season in Tuesday night's 2-2 draw with Newcastle United.
Ayoze Pérez’s late equaliser four minutes from time denied the Tigers what would have been a fully deserved win against the Premier League side at the KCOM Stadium, but Henriksen didn’t let that disappointment dampen his spirits after the game.
“I think it was our best game so far in the pre-season by many miles,” he said.
“It was a very positive performance. We looked much sharper in all areas of the pitch – we looked ready.
“Newcastle are also a very good Premier League side – the toughest team we have faced in preseason – and I think the way we played was very clever. We also created more than Newcastle did which was another big positive.
“Performance-wise, it was a big improvement from our previous three friendly matches but there are still things that we can improve on. Hopefully, we can step it up a little bit more going forward.
“We still have one more game and two more weeks to finalise our preparations and we must look to take all the positives from the performance and build on them in order to ensure we are where we need to be when the season starts.”
Henriksen has enjoyed an impressive pre-season campaign to-date, which has also seen him skipper the side in all four of Nigel Adkins’ side’s friendly matches against Maritimo, Braga, Rochdale and Newcastle.
The Norwegian international is delighted with his new-found role as a leader in the Tigers’ dressing room and admits to thriving on the additional responsibility that comes with donning the armband.
“Of course, it is a big honour to be given the armband because it means I must have done something right,” he added.
“If Nigel wants me to wear the armband when the season starts, I’m ready to be a leader. I have been captain at two of my previous clubs, so I know what it is and what the role entails.
“Michael Dawson was a great captain here over the past couple of years and I would be a different type of leader than he was. I can only do it my way.
“Every team has different types of captains and leaders. Even though I’m young, I think I have a lot of experience that can help the team.
“I had a very tough first season at the Club, but I have learnt a lot from my experiences. I feel like I am a totally different player now. I feel confident and I feel ready to kick on.
“Whatever happens, I will always try my best for the team and try to help each and every one of my team-mates by being a motivator.
“We just have to fight and work hard for each other from the first game right until the last. This is a young, talented group and we are all determined to do well for this football club.”