Ahead of the first game of the season, Port Vale defender Adam Crookes feels the different variety of friendlies the Valiants have in place can only be a positive in improving the way the Vale can play.
Having made his move permanent to Vale Park in the summer from Nottingham Forest, Crookes returned to his former club sooner than he expected with Port Vale yesterday.
The Valiants played three half an hour games against Forest's under 23s side at their training ground, with Vale coming away with a 4-3 win thanks to goals from Mark Cullen, David Amoo and a double from Manny Oyeleke.
With Leek Town up next on the Vale's pre-season friendly schedule, Crookes believes that the different tests will prove beneficial in the long run.
"It was a good workout and obviously we're still gaining some fitness so it was a good game to have for us.
"I think coming to play against teams like this (Nottingham Forest Under 23s) who probably play more football on a better surface is good.
"I think for us today it was good to get more combinations and try some more patterns. It only helps us trying to play some nice football by keeping it on the floor a bit more. Like we say it helps you build your partnerships and we go from there."
Crookes made his move permanent to Vale over the summer after a successful loan spell at the club. The defender was signed on loan from Nottingham Forest by Neil Aspin and impressed on his league debut away to Crawley.
Despite the change in management, Crookes continued to perform under new manager John Askey and became a consistent starter under the new gaffer.
With the Vale kicking off their 2019/20 season underway in just 24 days with a trip to Colchester, Crookes says he can't wait for the new campaign to start and is hoping to continue in his role at left back.
"It's exciting times with the new owners and we've got some new players coming in. We don't really know what to expect but we're getting fit and looking forward to the start of the season and seeing what we can do.
"As a player you're always looking behind you and seeing who's next to you, who's trying to take your place and vice versa. That only raises your level so I think it's only a good thing to have competition in the squad.
"I think we'll cause teams problems pressing high and playing with a high tempo so it's only a good thing."