Ilkeston Town boss Steve Chettle remained positive despite a heavy pre-season defeat to York City on Friday night in their final pre-season friendly.
The Robins were beaten 6-1 by a side full of experienced players and who remain full-time despite now being in the National League North.
And Chettle said it was a good learning curve for his players.
He said: "We won't be judged on games like tonight, we'll be judged when we play Stourport, Shepshed and Lye Town on the opening week and beyond.
"We were beaten by a very strong York side tonight but it was another good test for us to go with the five previous games in which we've done really well.
"Lots of our players applied themselves and there were some good performances."
Chettle remains satisfied by the substantial squad he has at his disposal with just eight days until the opening game against Stourport Swifts.
He said: "We've got two players in every position which is what we wanted. We have a squad of 24 which is big but gives us great options. The best 16 will be in the first squad but as yet I don't know who that will be.
"It's a great problem to have and when you compare it to this time last year when we barely had any players at all, the difference is stark."