Town start their NWCFL Premier Division campaign with a home match against Congleton Town on Saturday (3pm).
However, they began the week by being called in for training on Monday night with manager Lee Ashcroft angry at the manner of their 7-1 friendly defeat to Bamber Bridge last Saturday.
“We had one or two missing on Saturday but it wasn’t good enough,” he said.
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“They were in training on Monday, and while there are a lot of new lads, I thought there was a lack of desire and one or two looked like they had given up.
“They have to prepare to give everything they have got from the first minute until the last.
“Lee Dovey wasn’t there. He’s the best keeper in the division and we do miss him but, I’ve watched the goals since, and they never got tight enough defensively.”
A crowd of 230 witnessed Saturday’s match, dubbed ‘Melling 5 Day’ as it raised money for former Town and Brig defender George Melling, as well as the MND Association and the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience.
The Town players are back in action on Wednesday with their final pre-season outing ahead of the big kick-off.
They will meet Fulwood Amateurs after their scheduled game against Clitheroe was called off.
“Clitheroe pulled out because their manager has gone,” Ashcroft explained.
“I spoke to Wyre Villa but then they said they couldn’t do it, so I’ve got a good relationship with Tony (Hesketh, Fulwood boss) and we’ve sorted that out.
“We’ve had a few years of decent football so, hopefully, we can show that last Saturday’s game was a one-off and you don’t become a bad side overnight.
“I think George enjoyed it. There were 200-plus people there to support him but the scoreline’s irrelevant when someone’s going through what he’s going through.”
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