Goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly praised the all round performance and commitment of the Preston North End players tonight after a magnificent seven in the first preseason friendly of the 2017/18 calendar.
Goals from Ben Davies, Stevie May Callum Robinson, Melle Meulensteen, Tom Barkhuizen and a brace from Jordan Hugill kickstarted North End's preseason schedule in impressive fashion with a 7-0 win against Bamber Bridge at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium - and all under the watchful eye of new boss Alex Neil who spectated proceedings from the stands.
Prior to the appointment of Neil earlier this week, it was Kelly and first team coach Steve Thompson who took the reigns whilst a new manager was appointed, and Kelly, who himself took to social media to confirm his commitment to the club stated his pride in the reaction of the players since the departure of Simon Grayson.
"It's the first competitive game of the season and it's tradition to play our first preseason game here and it's great to see so many tonight," told Kelly who is all too familiar with this preseason encounter.
"But more importantly, we've fielded two different teams and they've got 45 minutes under their belt and it's about building for that first game of the season.
"It's never ideal to lose a manager during preseason but myself and Tommo were here to serve the club and make sure the players were in the right frame of mind.
"It was a case of 'look, this is the schedule' and let's do it to the best of your ability, and judging by the performance tonight and how they've been the last eight days - they've given the manager something to think about.
"I've probably worked on and off with the club for 40 years now and I was born into this club especially when your dad has a giant face of himself in a stand.
"It's widely known that I'm born within a stone's throw of the club; hopefully we've done our part these past few days."
One minor negative during a night littered with positives was the injury to Declan Rudd, but Kelly is hopeful that the injury is not too much for concern.
He continued: "It came out of nowhere; It was his first kick - he'd done a 30 minute warm up prior to that and not felt a thing but that's football and let's hope it's not too serious and he's only out for a week or two."
Next up in preseason preparations is a six day training camp across the Irish sea to Cork, a venture in which Kelly believes will be extremely useful for the new manager to express his ideas.
"It's an ideal time for the manager to bed in his ideas and to get to know what he wants and what his playing style is going to be," he added. "All of those will be bedded within the players in this trip to Ireland."
Watch Kelly's full interview on tonight's game via Ifollow by clicking the link above.