Boss Devonshire won't allow Magpies to ease up as new season approaches

In spite of the summer heat, Magpies boss Alan Devonshire insists he won't allow the players to let up and take it easy over the coming weeks as he remains focused on improving the squad's fitness and sharpness ahead of the new season.

With the start of the National League 2021/22 season just around the corner, the Magpies will cram in another five friendlies, following their most recent game against Leyton Orient at York Road.

These forthcoming fixtures will most likely be played out with experimental line-ups, according to Devonshire, as Nathan Blissett, Dan Sparkes, Kane Ferdinand, George Wells, and Remy Clerima are currently sidelined with injury.

“We’re three-and-a-half weeks away [from the start of the season] and we’ve still got so much work to do,” said the Magpies boss.

“We’re carrying a few injuries but we’re confident they will be there or there abouts by the start of the season. The new boys that have come in are doing well. We like Will (De Havilland), we like Kane (Ferdinand), and Dylan (Asonganyi) and Emile (Acquah) are working hard.”

“We’ve had some good workouts so far,” added Devonshire.

“Listen, it has been hot, but we’ve needed it to get our sharpness and fitness up.

“We will now have some more friendlies against Staines Town, Farnborough, Reading, Bournemouth, and we’re trying to pencil in another.

“I will play the people that need minutes, and also work with the players I’ve got right now. It’s early days, but we’re doing well, and we’ve got a couple more weeks to get everything right.”

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