Brighton & Hove Albion striker Tomer Hemed is expecting a competitive match against League Two opponents Crawley Town on Saturday, and is conscious of using the fixture in a constructive way before their Premier League campaign gets underway.
The Seagulls visit the Checkatrade.com Stadium for their second pre-season fixture, and Hemed believes his team-mates can effectively use the game to prepare themselves for Manchester City’s visit to the Amex in August.
He said, “We have experience of playing lower league teams in pre-season before and it’s always a game where the other team will want to show their ability.
“They will fight for every ball,and that’s part of the game, but we’ve got to be careful because we have just four weeks until the first game and we must use these matches wisely.
“We need to keep working hard and improve in every game so that we are ready for that first game of the season against Manchester City.
“That is the occasion we are preparing ourselves for, so minutes on the pitch are going to be important for every player between now and then.”
The Israel striker scored in Albion’s 2-0 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf last Friday, and he reflected on a positive week of training in Austria, which ended with their first taste of action since the beginning of May.
“We are looking forward to continuing our pre-season schedule in England after what was a very good week in Austria.
“It was good to work on our fitness, get the first friendly game under our belts, and of course for me, it was good to score.
“Obviously it’s still early and we are going to make a lot of changes in these opening games - everyone will get the chance to play.
“We also have new players coming into the squad, but they have all integrated very well and have been made really welcome by us all.
“It’s another game to work on our shape and get used to the type of football the gaffer wants us to play, because obviously the Premier League is going to be different to what we’ve been used to.”