I didn't catch any of the action from yesterdays 1-1 draw at Barnsley but from the reports it suggests that whilst our patch pre-season results continue, we did look sharper than in the games during the Vodacom Challenge tournament. We also saw a far stronger line-up with more of the expected starting side featuring.
This fitness aspect was something Shay Given focused on:
New signing Kolo Toure started alongside Nedum Onouha, before being forced off with a minor injury. Of more concern though was the absence of both Michael Johnson and Roque Santa Cruz - Johnson with a 'setback' from his recovery, whilst Santa Cruz has not yet recovered from a new injury and likely misses the start of the season.
“We had a number of chances on Saturday and it is just about sharpening ourselves up,” he argued. “We had a good few chances but their keeper made a couple of good saves and we missed a few but we are coming together nicely.
“The big thing at Barnsley was getting the fitness levels up and the sharpness in front of goal will come. We will be better for that game. There is some exciting quality on the pitch in front of me and I am sure it will be an exciting season. We have some fantastic players in City shirts.”
We now have a couple of games to round off the pre-season - at Rangers on Wednesday before hosting Celtic next Saturday.