First team coach Steve Thompson feels games like yesterday's bounce game against Everton are vital to keep the whole squad's fitness up.
Members of the squad who have not featured in the starting Xl in recent weeks faced a strong Everton side at Finch Farm on Wednesday, and Thompson believes the management team got everything they were looking for from the game.
"It's good to judge yourself playing against opposition like this, it was a tough game because they had long possession with the ball, and we had to keep our shape but that's what we are looking for.
"To replicate 90 minutes and it was a good test. We knew that Everton would have a strong team so we went strong as well, the weeks can add up where they're not playing 90 minutes and we've got to make sure we keep their fitness levels up.
"We've said to them, with a couple of injuries they could be back in, the manager might change his shape, change his system and he might need different personnel so we've got to make sure that as soon as they are called on they are up to speed to play in the Championship.
"We started off a little bit slow after 20 minutes, then we grew into the game, until the last 15 when we looked like we tired again. We got everything out of the game that we wanted to, we got no injuries and we got 90 minutes under the belt of most of the players and it's been against good opposition so it's been throughly worthwhile."
To hear more from Steve Thompson on the game and the first team's preparations for the next game against Blackburn Rovers, go to PNE PlayerHD by clicking on the video below.