Stags boss Paul Cox says he is very close to knowing his starting line-up for Mansfield Town’s League Two opener against Scunthorpe United in two weeks time.
Cox was speaking after watching his side fall to a 1-0 defeat against promotion hopefuls Sheffield United following a disappointing display in which Stags failed to get into their stride.
Febian Brandy hit the only goal of the game after five minutes in a match which the Blades looked comfortable throughout as Stags failed to show any real creativity or goal threat.
But, despite the poor showing, Cox said the game had been an excellent work out in which he had learned a lot about his players.
“It was a good workout today but it was a poor result, I don’t think we really got started,” said Cox.
“I wont get too down about it, when you win in pre-season it is important not to get carried away and when you lose it is important not to get too down.
“We were up against a very good side, who I expect to get promoted. They are a big club.
“There is a lot we can improve on, but pre-season is all about fitness and getting to know more about the players.
“We looked better in the second half and were a bit more cohesive. We have had a very good week and I am happy with the fitness levels.
“I have learned a lot about the players and I am close to knowing what the starting line-up will be against Scunthorpe.
“It is now up to the players to make the place in the starting line-up their own.”
The victory leaves Sheffield United unbeaten in pre-season, with four wins out of their five matches so far.
Mansfield continue their pre-season preparations on Tuesday night when they make the short trip to Rainworth MW for a 7.30pm kick off at Kirklington Road.