Neil Warnock was delighted to kick-off the truncated pre-season campaign with a win at Plymouth on Tuesday.
The newly promoted League One side provided good opposition for Warnock’s squad, but he was able to give his players extended minutes on the pitch, and skipper Britt Assombalonga capped things off by scoring the only goal of the game.
“It was a really good workout,” said the Boro boss. “We’ve only been back a week and they worked hard last week, but I’ve got to say I didn’t expect as much as I got today.
“We missed a few chances, but the way we played was very good. We moved it early, there was a lot of good work, and fitness wise it was good.
“That was Plymouth’s fourth game so we were a bit behind on that, but the way we moved the ball early really helped us and I thought the way we played at the start of the second half was super.
“We are short of numbers and some had to play 90 minutes because we have no option, but hopefully we can get more bodies on board over the next few weeks.”
There will be more opportunities for players to get minutes on the pitch later in the week when Warnock’s squad will face Plymouth again at the Devon club’s training ground, in the shape of 3x30-minute matches.
“We’ll do a bit of work tomorrow, but it’ll be more relaxing and there’ll be some enjoyment after,” added the boss.
“On Thursday we’ll play three more half hours against Plymouth which will give the lads more time and minutes on the pitch. And we’ll work again on Friday before travelling back on Saturday.”