Buxton boss frustrated by brilliance of Curzon Ashton keeper
The Bucks drew 0-0 at home to Curzon in their second pre-season outing after England C shot-stopper Cameron Mason pulled off a number of blinding saves.
“I was really pleased with the performance but disappointed that we drew,” he said.
“Their keeper pulled off some right saves. They never had a shot all game, so it’s disappointing we didn't get the win.
“We could have scored two or three second half, but their keeper pulled off three great saves.
“We dominated form start to finish and I was impressed by the tempo of the game
“Both sides had a right go, which is good for a seon preseason game. it shows our fitness is good.”
Hayward added former York City midfielder Andy Bond to his squad this week as he looks to step up the quality at his disposal.
And it is likely he won't be last summer arrival with Hayward closing in on an un-name striker, before his squad size gets chopped down.
“I am hoping he will give us quality in the midfield areas,” said Hayward. “He is a box to box player so we will have a look over the next few weeks and see what he is about.
“We have still got a big squad, but the key players aren't available at the minute.
It is frustrating that we can't get all the players out there that we want to be playing. I am missing a good five lads that I want in regularly.
“We are just waiting on an elusive striker, we have spoken to a couple out of the National League.
“Then it will be time to cut the squad down and work with the 18-20 that we will have through the season.
“Normally; we would have 16, but I think we will have seven subs this season and it will be a case of Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday throughout until way after Christmas.
“There will be cup games as well so it is going to be frantic and we want to hit the ground running.
“We want to be there or thereabouts just in case COVID-19 comes back in so if we are at the top we will get promoted, even if it is by default.”
Hayward now has six weeks of pre-season to fine tune his squad, with the mental approach for away games high up on his agenda.
“We have got to get the mindset right when we play away from home” he said.
“It is nice at Buxton on a sunny day, on a good pitch and where it’s all done for you. but it is different on a Tuesday night at Warrington and places like that.
“We will be a target for a lot of teams. Because we have recruited well everyone will want to try and get our scalp, we know we have an elephant on our back already.
“We just want to go prepare and be as professional as possible and work hard.
“We have the quality, we just need to fine tune a few things but we have six weeks to do that and I’m really looking forward to it.
“We want to be as competitive as possible, we don't want to be in a situation like we were last year and that's why we have brought in stronger individuals that will give us that edge when we play.”