CITY manager Stuart McCall is excited by the prospect of some friendlies against higher-tier opposition, as he praised his side for their efforts on their return to training.

He was coy about where his side needed to strengthen in the transfer market, but did admit that a new right back was a priority.

Talking about the return to contact training from last Thursday, McCall said: “We even enjoyed those first five days of non-contact training, just to get some work into the lads’ legs and putting some ball work in.

“But we had double sessions (of contact training) on Thursday and Friday and I’m really pleased with what we’ve seen. Some nice sharp stuff and it’s been really enjoyable, so long may this continue.

“We’ll look to get fitter and stronger and get that rustiness off us. We had a big game of 11 v 11 on Friday and it was really encouraging. That’s the standard they’re setting and we’ve got to keep it up.

“Myself and Kenny (Black) are big believers in getting on to the training pitch, trying to improve players and make them enjoy their football.

“We’ve had a really good response since the players have been back and we’re really looking forward to working with them in the next few weeks before the (league) football starts.”

But friendlies are set to take place much sooner than that, with McCall saying: “Every game’s going to be behind closed doors but we’ve got three or four pencilled in. They’re not confirmed yet though.

“We are aiming to have one on Saturday and at the moment, they’ll all be against teams in divisions above us.

“You look at the likes of Halifax, Guiseley or Bradford (Park Avenue), but they’re not even properly back in training as their seasons don’t start until October.

“We’ve had a lot of offers to play other clubs, even to the extent that we’ll probably be going to a couple of teams and we won’t be able to change. We’ll have to go in our kit, so it is different.

“We’ll play the game and come away because even though we’re in the second stage of the protocol, we’ve got to be on the ball and follow the rules.”

McCall was not willing to give too much away on the transfer front, but he did admit the other day that he probably only wants to bring in another two or three players.

Talking about the make-up of the current squad, he said: “At the minute, we’ve inherited four contracted centre halves, and we have two young lads that play there too.

“We’ve got the four out and out centre forwards and we’ve strengthened in midfield. There’s a couple of areas though.

“We’ve let a couple of right backs go and even though we’ve got people that can play there at the moment, that’s an area we need to bring somebody in to.

“We’ll just see whatever else crops up. At this moment we’ve not got anything in the pipeline but all it takes is a phone call, something happens, and it can be done.

“If we are bringing a couple more players in we’d like to get them bedded in soon.

“We want to keep this positive vibe about the place and have a positive pre-season, which will hopefully take us into a successful campaign.”