Darren Ferguson hailed his Doncaster Rovers side for taking the game to Championship outfit Derby County in Tuesday night’s friendly draw.
The second half performance in particular pleased the Rovers boss as his side came out of their shells to produce some excellent attacking play.
And it made up for a lack of endeavour in the first half in which Ferguson felt Rovers played it safe.
“I’m delighted with the players overall,” Ferguson said.
“The second half was better than the first in an attacking sense.
“The first half was disciplined but I think on the ball we lacked a wee bit of extra confidence and extra belief.
“Playing three centre backs, the three of them played a little bit square of one another. We needed Tyler Garratt and Joe Wright to play a little bit further ahead of Steven Taylor and keep stepping into midfield.
“It was all a bit slow for me and we didn’t play it forward enough.
“We were a bit safe in the first half. We speak a lot about keeping the ball but I thought at times we were keeping it for the sake.
“Sometimes you have to penetrate teams better.
“It was good in the sense that in the first half defensively we had to do a bit more work and we kept our shape very well.”
Derby took a first half lead courtesy of a free header from Richard Keogh.
But Rovers responded well after the break and grabbed a deserved equaliser with a well-worked goal from Tommy Rowe.
Ferguson added: “In the second half we saw a lot more of an attacking side to us. The players took the information on really well for the second half.
“The difference was Mason and Andrew really giving their strikers a real problem.
“We kept getting switches of play and the fact they came into midfield meant we could get further up the pitch and give them a real problem.
“We looked to play forward a lot more and I thought we looked good, some of our play and performances were very good.
“The players look really fit, very, very fit. It was really good.
“As an exercise I thought it went really well.”