Adam Murray is convinced that a 3-0 defeat at Hednesford Town was exactly the wake-up call his Boston United side needed.
The Pilgrims ended their pre-season campaign with their first defeat of the summer on Saturday.
And despite Murray telling his side the performance fell way short of the levels he expects, he hopes any sense of cockiness has been wiped away from the squad.
“It was the best thing that could have happened to us,” the United manager, who is keen to bring in another striking option before the start of the season, said.
“I said before the game that we needed to take a punch on the nose.
“That sounds strange, but we’ve had a very good pre-season, things have gone our way.
“We need to see a reaction to the punch on the nose.
“Today we turned up looking like a team which hadn’t been beaten.
“We came here with an ego and attitude, thinking we don’t need to give 110 per cent today, we might get away with giving 60 per cent.
“It’ll be the best thing that’s happened to us.”
Jordan Nadat, Lee Smith and James Lawrie found the net against a Pilgrims squad which had only conceded twice in their previous five contests.
Nadat gave the Pitmen a 33rd-minute lead as his low effort trickled past the unsighted George Willis. Smith doubled the advantage with a header 14 minutes into the second half and it was game over when Lawrie netted from close range in the 76th minute.
Boston had chances but keeper James Wren was in fine form to deny Jack Broadhead, Mason Warren ann Jamie McGuire, while Tom Batchelor saw a header cleared off the line by Smith.
Willis also made a superb reaction save to deny Lewis Wright.
HEDNESFORD: Wren, Wheatley, Melbourne, Bailey, Oji (59), Taylor, Wright (Cater 63), Smith, Wynter (Trialist 63), Nadat, Lawrie; Subs (not used): Mutton, Hayes.
UNITED: Willis, Clifton (Trialist 65), Beatson, Warren (Vince 76), Keane, Broadhead (Maguire 54), Waite (Hare 54), Chapman, Hawley (Tshimanga 65), Batchelor, Hemmings (Adams 68); Subs (not used): Yeomans, Smith.
Ref: R. Watson.