Morecambe are ready to get stuck into the real thing after an unbeaten pre-season campaign.
The Shrimps kick off the League 2 season at Hartlepool with Jim Bentley well aware that a string of largely positive friendly outings will be irrelevant come Saturday at Victoria Park.
Bentley said: “We’re unbeaten and have had some strong performances but it goes out of the window now because the real stuff starts next week.
“I was a little disappointed on Saturday (with the 2-2 draw against a Liverpool XI) but overall I’m very pleased with the way it’s gone.
“We’ve been touch wood relatively lucky with injuries and we’ve come along nicely.
“We’ve played some good stuff and there’s been a good spirit about the lads.
“There’s still plenty to work on and I’m expecting a tough game.”
Pools underwent something of a revival under Ronnie Moore last season to survive and avoid dropping out of the Football League.
Most pundits are expecting them to be much-improved this time around.
Bentley said: “They finished last season strongly and the manager knows the game inside out.
“They’ve invested and good some good players in and (Rakish) Bingham’s been banging a few in during pre-season.
“I’m sure they’ll get right behind their team and we’ve got to make sure we come out of the traps and fight fire with fire which usually happens on the opening day of the season.
“I think we’re equipped and ready for it.”