Nottingham Forest defender Michael Dawson said it was a good battle against Oldham Athletic as The Reds drew 2-2 at Boundary Park.
It was a different kind of match to the ones that Forest faced at their training camp in Spain and Dawson believes it was another good workout against the League Two side.
Speaking after the game, he said: "There is always disappointment because we didn't win, but I don't think that we hit the heights that we were set out to hit.
"We had a good start, a goal in two or three minutes and had two or three more opportunities that I believe we should have scored and then the game might have been different. But it wasn't and it was another good workout.
"At half-time, there were things we needed to improve and we played into their hands where they have pressed and we could have got in behind. They scored the goal and it gives them a big lift and then we go 2-1 behind and we had to show a different side.
"We limited them to a few opportunities whereas we had them early doors and after that there didn't come too many, but it is another workout, a draw when we wanted to win. It wasn't to be and we go to Scunthorpe on Wednesday night."
Dawson knows that the performance lacked in some areas and there is still time for The Reds to improve before the opening game of the season in two weeks time.
He said: "We knew that, when we were over in Spain, the way those kind of teams play and keep possession. Whereas today, we had big, physical centre forwards in and around to get after the midfielders, centre halves who want to head it and kick it.
"We knew it was a different kind of battle, one we enjoyed and like I say, at the end of the day it is a good workout.
"The lads who came on late on showed some flair and opportunities that we scored and it was nice for Grabbs to get his first goal.
"But we go again, it is still early days and we have time to work hard and improve as we know we have plenty of improvement to do to get to where we want to be."