City 2 Burnley 1

A new look, a new theme tune and hopefully a new leaf turned over.

City christened the all-claret era with the sort of result and performance that means everything and nothing in equal measure.

As One Step Beyond blared out after each home goal, you could sense that everyone had moved on from the trials and tribulations of last season.

But, equally, that bitter disappointment will have served as a warning against getting carried away by any warm-up success.

A win over the Premier League’s newest arrivals should be viewed in the same way as the traditional loss at Farsley Celtic which usually ushers in City’s pre-season.

This was one very small step; inconsequential on the journey ahead. But the fact that City competed well and earned their generous ovation from the crowd proved a timely pick-me-up during these testing times.

After a summer dominated by tales of trying to get players out, it was important that those who remain showed they can do more than just make up the numbers.

McCall fielded everyone that he had available, barring Peter Thorne – who was never in contention to play, having only returned to training last Monday.

City’s two 45-minute teams featured six trialists, with Steve Williams and Jamie O’Brien catching the eye in particular during the first half.

Burnley looked undercooked so early into their pre-season. But the initial line-up that City faced won’t be a million miles away from the one that will step out at Stoke when their Premier League adventure begins next month.

Record £3million signing Steven Fletcher started up front – and found himself matched by a centre half who was playing non-league for Bamber Bridge a couple of months ago.

Williams, 22, is desperate to show he can cut it at professional level. Not surprisingly considering he has combined part-time playing duties with his day job as a barber.

He certainly gave Fletcher’s reputation the brush off, winning his fair share of balls in the air and proving no slouch on the ground alongside Matt Clarke.

Energy will be the manager’s buzzword this season and McCall was happy with the busy attitude shown in midfield.

Chris Brandon’s future remains clouded – and he was being watched by an interested League One club – but there was no doubt about his sharpness as he snapped into a couple of tackles to prove his ankle trouble is hopefully a thing of the past.

Joe Colbeck, too, looked up for immediately silencing any doubts about his commitment to the cause following his contract wrangle.

In the middle, 18-year-old Jamie O’Brien was a willing worker for skipper Lee Bullock. And the former Birmingham youngster was on hand to notch City’s first goal.

Burnley had struck first when Graham Alexander, who at 37 will be the top flight’s oldest outfield player, slammed a left-footed sledgehammer past rookie Matt Convey from 20 yards.

Then the Boulding brothers combined to force the equaliser, Rory feeding Michael, whose cut-back was gleefully slotted home by the unmarked O’Brien.

It was entertaining stuff – and well out of character for the usual pedestrian pre-season opener – as Burnley twice came close to regaining the lead.

Martin Paterson sent an acrobatic effort crashing against the underside of the bar and off the line. Then Robbie Blake, whose latest return to Valley Parade was cheered and jeered in equal measure, saw his goal-bound stab blocked by Jon Bateson.

The rebound popped up invitingly for Fletcher eight yards out but the Scotland international hammered it wide to much amusement from the home fans – who were in the minority in the near 4,000 crowd.

The travelling Claret contingent were silenced, though, when City went in front after 36 minutes. Luke O’Brien threaded a neat ball through Burnley’s square back four and Michael Boulding was free to coolly pick his spot for the first of, hopefully, many more goals to come.

Both managers played musical chairs at the break. McCall changed the lot while Owen Coyle made seven subs.

City part two featured Northern Ireland goalkeeper Alan Mannus in his bid to earn a contract on the mainland after 11 years with Linfield. He looks a good height but that’s all we found out because he didn’t have a single shot to save.

The only chances came at the other end where new signing Gareth Evans demonstrated a willingness to shoot on sight.

Alongside him, Guiseley striker James Hanson got his first opportunity to live the dream. And he should have claimed a couple of goals but dragged one shot wide and then missed the ball altogether with the net beckoning.

Whether he is a more effective option than Rory Boulding as a back-up striker will become clear over the next week.

McCall will also have to make decisions on his midfield trialists – the industrious Jordan Hadfield looked more up to pace than Grant Smith on this first showing.

One area where City are definitely light is on the flanks. With Omar Daley out and no Steve Jones, there is precious little competition for the wide positions.

So Leon Osborne did his chances no harm at all wide on the left, where he gave Burnley’s makeshift right back Joey Gudjonsson a real headache with his pace.

All in all, an encouraging first day for McCall. But the manager still has plenty to occupy his thoughts in the four weeks before everything starts for real.

CITY (first half): Convey, Bateson, Williams, Clarke, L O’Brien, Colbeck, Bullock, J O’Brien, Brandon, R Boulding, M Boulding.

Second half: Mannus, Arnison, Ramsden, Rehman, Horne, Sharry (Dean 75), Hadfield, Smith, Osborne, Evans, Hanson.