I know a lot of fans are saying it wasn’t ideal for Carlisle United to travel to Ross County for their final pre-season friendly, but I think it was a good friendly because neither team held back.

Sometimes, it can be easy for your last friendly to become a non-event. A lot of players don’t want to get injured and so, you kind of go through the motions, because you are starting your season the weekend after.

But at Victoria Park, I think it was a good friendly due to the intensity it was played at as the Staggies won 2-0.

United’s players managed to get a good run-out, as did the County players, and I think the Dingwall team proved to be tough opposition. The tempo was like what I expect it to be like against Crawley in the Blues’ League Two opener against Crawley this Saturday.

To be honest, we did struggle a little bit at times. But what was encouraging was, because we were so close to Blues boss Steven Pressley and his assistant Gavin Skelton, I could hear what they were shouting on to the pitch from the dug-out, and they were saying about everything that I could see.

As much as it is nice to win every friendly 5-0, you really want to learn something about your team.

They seemed to see some little things and I’m sure they will be the areas they will be working on this week.

I’m as up for making the other Cumbrian teams a bit of money as anyone, but I have been pleased with this pre-season, which started with a home game against Hibernian, saw the Blues also face two League One teams in Fleetwood and Tranmere, and end against Ross County. Opposition-wise, I think it’s been a great pre-season.

The warm-up fixtures would have allowed Pressley and Skelton to learn a lot about their team. And I wouldn’t worry too much about results, either. I have been in teams where we have won all the pre-season games, then lost the first five, and then I have been in teams that have lost every pre-season match but then won their first five league fixtures.

It’s just about getting up to the right fitness levels, individually and collectively, and that’s what Carlisle have done. Now, everyone can start focusing on this weekend.

Hopefully, Carlisle continue adding to their squad this week after yesterday’s double signing of Aaron Hayden and Olufela Olomola. We need to patient.

I know we all wanted players to come in earlier, but it’s better to wait and get the players you actually want, rather than just signing players for the sake of getting them.

The result on Saturday wasn’t what we wanted, and maybe the performance wasn’t necessarily there, but Pressley said after the match he felt his players had played tired. I have done that a few times before.

In your last pre-season game, you play tired so, for the following week when a competitive match comes, you are fresh, alive and ready to go.

In the media, we always get the opportunity to interview managers after matches, and you are waiting to see what they have seen and hope they have seen the same things we have. But, even before he was asked the question, Pressley was saying exactly what everyone else was thinking.

There is no bigger fan of Nathan Thomas’ work than me. But he did look jaded, and Pressley said he needs to get his fitness levels up. He also said he needs a bit more intensity in his midfield, which we all said, and he sees everything we see which is great.

With Cumbrian keeper Adam Collin in goal and Byron Webster and Nathaniel Knight-Percival in front of him at the heart of defence, with Mike Jones in front of that, there is a solid platform to build from. When he recovers from injury, Kelvin Etuhu will also probably play in midfield and I think that’s a good spine for a League Two side.

Then, you add players around that. Obviously, it looks like we will have a few loans coming in, with striker Olufela Olomola the first this week.

It certainly isn’t all doom and gloom for Carlisle ahead of the start of the campaign. I think it’s exciting times at the moment and, with a few more good additions, we should do alright.

In terms of what kind of test Gabriele Cioffi’s men will provide the Cumbrians with, it’s hard to predict, to be honest. With the way League Two has been in recent seasons, they could be absolutely unplayable or absolutely terrible - you just don’t know.

League Two is so unpredictable. I have been really shocked with the standard over the last couple of years. Last season, we probably should have done better.

But, this season, we will have to see how the league shapes up once again. Last term, the big-hitters who came down didn’t threaten. I think Lincoln City were the only ones who stood out.

This year, Plymouth might have a chance. Salford will spend money but, apart from that with three going up automatically and four more in the play-offs, I think we should be aiming to finish somewhere in the top seven.

Reading interviews from Pressley, director of football David Holdsworth and chief executive Nigel Clibbens that is where we want to be so, without putting too much pressure on the players, you need to set yourselves targets and say “I want to be in that top seven”.

It will also be great to start the season at home. Hopefully, we can get a win under our belts.