Fitness comes first for boss McIntosh

Buxton FC Martin McIntosh
Buxton FC Martin McIntosh

Buxton boss Martin McIntosh says the glut of pre-season games will serve his squad well in the long run.

The Bucks face their fifth outing in the space of 18 days when they welcome Stockport County to the Silverlands on Tuesday night.

Last Friday saw Buxton play their third match in the space of six days as they put in a terrific effort to come from 3-0 down to beat Macclesfield 4-3.

Despite the new season not getting underway until August 16, manager McIntosh says that the fitness levels of the players will be boosted by the hectic schedule.

He said: “A few of the players’ legs were going on Friday against Macclesfield, which is understandable.

“You’re going to get that after playing three games in six days.

“But I was pleased because of the benefit it will have to get these games into the players.”

As well as match time, McIntosh and player-assistant Tim Ryan are busy putting the players through their paces in training.

He said: “The players have trained really hard this week.

“They’re getting plenty of football under their belts and pre-season is about players getting to know each other, not necessarily the results.”

Despite the focus on fitness rather than scorelines, McIntosh did concede that he was delighted to see his side come from behind in emphatic fashion against the Silkmen.

Two goals from Liam Hardy, including a glorious free-kick, and strikes from Mark Reed and Alastair Taylor secured a memorable comeback for the Bucks as they lifted the Keith Alexander Trophy for the first time.

He added: “It was really encouraging (the comeback).

“Scoring more goals is something we need to improve on, as I’ve said in the past.

“Liam’s free-kick was terrific and it took me by surprise but he says he has been practising them.

“We’ve got three good strikers now in Hardy, Reed and Shaun Tuton so it gives us options and we’re happy with them.”

Before Tuesday’s visit of Stockport, the Bucks head to NCEL Premier side Staveley Miners Welfare this Saturday (3pm), for what is their only planned away game of pre-season.

McIntosh says that he will continue to cast an eye over potential new additions to his squad such as Jonathan Williams and Alex Reid, with both expected to feature on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the fixtures for the 2014-15 Evo-Stik Premier Division campaign will be released this morning.

Fixtures are expected to be uploaded on to the league’s official website after 9am.

Visit buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/sport for a rundown of the Bucks’ fixture list.