Winning start to pre-season for Nathan Arnold’s Newark Town
Newark Town opened their pre-season account with a 3-2 win on Saturday, seeing off Lincolnshire’s Nettleham in what was Nathan Arnold’s first game in charge.
The Blues raced to a 3-0 lead in the first half with three goals in seven minutes courtesy of Jeremiah Ogie and a Kieran Job brace.
Arnold said the fixture gave him a good chance to assess his group of players ahead of July 24, when he will look to whittle his group down to 18 players.
“We are still at a very early stage and Saturday was about getting the lads who were available at least 45 minute each,” said Arnold.
“Over the next couple of weeks it will start to settle down, but the last couple of weeks have been a productive period.
“And we have managed to bring in another four since the game on Saturday who will add to what we have already.
“Naturally, two or three weeks into pre-season the squad will start to trim down and take shape.
“It was important we didn’t undercut ourselves because we want it to be a case of trimming the squad rather than desperately needing to add to it.
“Eventually, we will identify a squad of around 18 and I have given the lads on trial until July 24 — that is when we will be looking to make a decision.
“But we have got a development team as well so players will go through to Stuart Miller (development team manager) and help bridge the gap between his side and the first team.”
Despite winning in his first game in charge, Arnold said he didn’t read much into the full-time score.
“There was lots of positives from the lads who are on-board with us for next season,” he said.
“But of course, with pre-season you bring the younger lads on and share the minutes without overloading the players.
“We wanted to get 45 minutes into everybody so the second half we struggled a little bit, but I learnt more about the squad and individual players."
While fitness is at the forefront of Arnold’s plans for the first couple of fixtures, he said he would look to make his mark on the team tactically once the squad was narrowed down.
“For me, the players dictate the style and how we go about things, and I have identified how we want to play and what formation is best for the players,” said the former Lincoln City pro.
“We are working hard to add a couple of players who fit our profile and a couple of lads who watched on Saturday liked what they saw, so that is a positive.
“I am still learning about some of the players because I have only had four sessions, so, as we get closer, we will start to work a little more on the shape, on the formation and things like that.”