BRAINTREE Town manager Glen Driver admitted that his team's pre-season display at Maldon & Tiptree had left him with thinking to do as the start of the Vanarama National League South season continued to draw ever closer.

The Iron have just one more friendly fixture - against King's Lynn Town at Cressing Road on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) - before a trip to Bath City kick-starts their league campaign the following weekend and Driver is still crafting his first squad.

There were plenty of positives to take from the trip to Maldon & Tiptree as the Jammers were beaten 2-1 thanks to a pair of quality goals from Femi Akinwande and Adam Mills, however, Driver admitted that aspects of his team's play had left him with some unexpected questions to ponder.

He said: “We were a bit disappointed with the first half performance because we had some senior players out there making some silly mistakes.

“We have to be better and I was just a bit disappointed in that first half.

“It means my head has been turned again; there were one or two who I thought may be out of the door and may be staying now and a few who I thought were nailed on who may now be going out.

“It was a game of two halves really.

“I thought first half, we started really brightly and we looked decent.

“We kept the ball and we moved them about but we then tried to be a little too cute with things.

“We tried to force things down the middle and we’d had that conversation before the game because we didn’t want them to play 50-yard balls.

“We want them to play it on the floor and at times we were trying to switch play in a way that it was never going to come off with the balls we were trying to play.

“But then in the second half, we got the ball down and shifted it quite well.

“The left-back (Ollie Saunders) got forward well as did Ade Cole and the centre-halves started to travel and there were a lot of positives."

Driver said one area that he is looking for his players to develop is with getting better service into his strikers.

It showed in both goals at Maldon that when the likes of Akinwande and Mills are receiving quality balls into the opposition area then they can prove lethal in front of goal and Driver said they would be working to achieve that more and more.

He added: “We just have to make sure we are getting better service into the front players.

“Tom Richardson, Femi Akinwande and Adam Mills are boys who want the ball put in the box so they can score goals.

“In the first half at Maldon, we were looking to get the ball down the middle to people, but we need to get the ball wide and our midfielders need to see our movement.

“I thought Ade Cole did that really well in the second half, but the boys Ollie Saunders really stood out for me with his passing and his brightness and movement into the final third.

“Then there was Jake Hutchings, who showed that he’s a travelling centre half.

“You can see what we are trying to do, but there will be mistakes."