Crawley Town manager Harry Kewell heaped praise on the ‘professional’ performances of his trialists and new signings during their 1-0 pre-season defeat by Ipswich.
An early goal from Ipswich midfielder Grant Ward was the difference between the sides but there were plenty of positives Kewell could take from the display at East Court.
He said: “(They were) a good opposition but I'm a little bit disappointed.
“It was a sloppy goal to give away. We just switched off.
“What I was impressed with, is that I only gave them a few instructions for this game and they done it for me.
“We created good chances where the keeper pulled off good saves.
“Overall, gutted that we lost but it's important that they all got 45 minutes and they listened to what I asked them to do.”
With Jimmy Smith and new signings Ashley Nathaniel-George and Brian Galach ruled out by injury, the game provided an opportunity for eight trialists to make an impression and they did not pass it up.
Kewell added: “We had a few trialists out there and they have all been good.
“Chris Whelpdale has impressed me right from the start. Very experienced, professional, working hard every day, he’s been excellent.
“Tarryn (Allarakhia), the left winger, looked good. He was lively in the first half and I enjoyed watching him.
“(Rob) Milsom is a quality player. He’s got that left foot and there's a few positions he can play as well.
“Jamie Turley has been excellent and Matt Young as well.
“They have all been good. It’s tough to come into a squad and fight for a place. It’s difficult but they have been professional about it which is excellent.
“You want to have players who have the experience but who are also able to play in a few positions as we are always going to have injuries throughout the season.
“I'm knocking on the door all the time trying to get these players through because I think they will be good for the squad as well.”
Kewell also praised the performance of new strike partners Reece Grego-Cox and Ollie Palmer, and was impressed by the impact of George Francomb and Dominic Poleon.
“(Grego-)Cox is a hard worker and he's hungry. He's hungry for success and that's why we brought him onboard,” he said.
“There's just a few little things that we need to work on and we've got a couple of years now to work with him and hopefully he'll become a great player.
“It's too early to say his best position at the moment but he's a livewire and can play anywhere across the front. He can play out wide as well so it's going to be a good option for me this year.
“Palmer looks good, solid. He knows the league, he’s aggressive, he can run, jump and I think it’s an excellent signing for the club.
“Hopefully it’s a partnership that we can grow. They don’t have to play side by side so we have a lot of options now which is what you need.
“It was good to see George (Francomb) back again, he looked good and Dom(inic Poelon) was excellent.”