David Unsworth would have no qualms about the season starting ‘tomorrow’ for his Under-23s, so impressed was he with their training camp in Spain.
The Young Blues stepped up their pre-season regime by relocating to the La Manga Club facilities over 1,000 miles away from their Halewood training base and the intense sessions in a hot and humid climate climaxed with a 4-2 friendly win against Hull City.
Speaking to evertontv before flying back to USM Finch Farm, Unsworth said: “They’ve certainly [worked hard], I can assure you. Their effort, commitment - outstanding; probably the best I’ve seen. It’s been an amazing week. The players have been a credit to themselves and a credit to our football club. It’s been brilliant and we topped it all off with a good performance and a win.
“It was a real step up in intensity this week, fitness-wise, but the speed and tempo has been there throughout and that’s just continued this week. I’m delighted with that but the quality has to be there as well. There’s no point in doing things at a high tempo if you haven’t got the quality.
“If the season started tomorrow, I’d be absolutely fine with the players because their fitness levels are fantastic.”
Goals from Nathan Broadhead, Conor Grant, David Henen and Anton Donkor gave the Premier League 2 champions victory over the Tigers, but it wasn’t just the electric and incisive attacking play that satisfied the boss.
“I was very pleased,” he added. “There’s always things to improve on and we tweak and adjust as we go, hopefully to be ready for the first game of the season. I’m delighted with the majority of things and we got some goals and more minutes for everybody.”
Such was Unsworth’s delight with the week as a whole, he took the time to thank the resort staff and local community for their hospitality.
He said: “Can I just take this opportunity to thank everyone at La Manga Club and Las Lomas Village, the hotel - all the staff have looked after us amazingly. The way we’ve been looked after on the pitches and around La Manga has been absolutely fantastic, so thank you to everybody concerned.”