Oldham Athletic manager Frankie Bunn believes his side have made more positive progress ahead of next week’s season-opener against MK Dons.
Latics suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Preston North End in their final pre-season friendly, with all three goals coming in the second half.
But the hosts were much the better side in the opening 45 minutes and were unlucky not to take a lead into the break.
Preston made a host of changes at half time and upped their game, but Bunn cut an upbeat figure after the game and is looking forward to the 2018/19 campaign getting under way.
“I think that was another step in the right direction,” said Bunn.
“In the first half we were terrific and showed our identity. We had a strong press and regained possession well in the opposition’s half.
“Perhaps on the negative side the quality was missing a little in the final third – a misplaced pass, a pass too short, cross too long."
He added: “I’ve got some devastated players in the changing room and that’s the right thing. We’re learning about them, they’re learning about us and no-one likes losing.
“But there were so many positives in that first-half performance.
“The foundations are there and the first half reflected everything that we are going to be.
“Maybe we need that bit of gold dust and guile in the attacking third.”
Boundary Park will host an open training session on Tuesday ahead of the new season, with gates opening in the North Stand at 10:00am ahead of training starting at 10.30am.
The manager is hoping to see as many fans as possible there on the day.
“The more the merrier!” he said. “I’d say to everyone, make sure you get down.”