MARCUS Bignot says regular pre-season games will only make his Guiseley side sharper for the forthcoming season.

The Lions face three friendlies in the next five days, starting with a trip to Yorkshire Amateur (7.45pm kick-off) tonight. This is followed by a home date against newly-promoted Vanarama National League side Stockport County on Saturday (3pm), then a trip to Parkgate FC next Tuesday (7.30pm).

This follows three games in five days last week, as Guiseley lost 2-1 to Championship side Leeds United on Thursday, 2-0 to League Two outfit Scunthorpe United on Saturday and 1-0 at Harrogate Town last Tuesday.

Guiseley's final friendly will be against South Shields at home on Saturday, July 27, before they kick off their new season in the Vanarama National League North, hosting King's Lynn Town seven days later.

The games and training seasons are putting the squad through their paces both physically and mentally, as they gear up for the challenges ahead this season.

Despite the defeats, joint-manager Bignot says he was pleased with his side's performances against EFL opposition in Leeds, who fielded a number of first-team aces including Kalvin Phillips and Helder Costa, and Scunthorpe, adding the squad have set the standards for the forthcoming season.

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted with how pre-season has gone. There are no grey areas. We are getting all the answers. We are definitely clear.

"Every one of them knows where we are at.

"There will be some pats on the back for some of them and harsh words and tough love for others.

"We have got a DNA in terms of what we look like off the ball.

"The friendly games have asked a lot about the player's mentality and physicality and working to their physical max. Against Scunthorpe, parts of it did that, and parts of it didn't.

"We are in week four of pre-season, which is when we are getting up to match fitness. A lot of the group are right up there. We are working with 22 or 23 players.

"It's about finding results, but not forgetting about what we look like on the ball.

"The most important day is August 3. We learned a lot from the Scunthorpe result. There were a lot of questions answered. With the Leeds game as well, they were two contrasting performances. The group we played against Leeds set a marker in terms of standards.

"Come August 3 they will be competing for places.

"Leeds United could not believe that we were a part-time team, but against Scunthorpe we played like a part-time team.

"During the early weeks of pre-season we want to get the group up to speed physically and mentally."