CHRISTCHURCH boss Ollie Cherrett is not averse to the odd defeat in pre-season – because he believes it keeps players' feet on the ground.

Priory opened their warm-up campaign with 3-0 and 1-0 wins over Dorchester Sports and Merley Cobham, respectively, before succumbing 5-0 to Wimborne and 2-0 to Chichester, both higher division sides.

Cherrett's men visit Holt United tomorrow, four days before they open their Sydenhams Wessex One campaign at Weymouth reserves.

The boss told the Daily Echo: "Sometimes, it's good to have a few negative results in pre-season because then nobody gets too carried away and you keep everyone's feet on the ground.

"We made lots of substitutions during games and it's very much a fitness exercise, it's not about the result. And because it's pre-season, it gives you the opportunity to try a few things and we have been doing that.

"Our game against Holt will be about getting up to the performance level we hope to see on the opening day of the season.

"The majority of the squad, bar one or two, are fully fit and raring to go. They have a chance to make an impression and grab the shirt for the Weymouth game."

Cherrett has his sights firmly set on promotion this season after seeing his side fall one place short of the top three last term.

And he believes his squad is in good shape for a sustained bid to go up to Wessex Premier.

Cherrett said: "My first priority was very much to keep the players we had last season and we've made the signings we wanted to.

"I don't think major surgery was needed. A lot of the players had offers to go higher but they have fully committed and to have players like Chris Senior, Max Frampton, Grant Cormack and Luke Stone on board is a massive plus for us.

"We've managed to sign some very experienced players. Jon Blake has already shown the experience he brings, Will Robinson has come in from Bemerton and wants to do well and we have Max Wilcock as well.

"Kieran Douglas has signed from Parley and he has been outstanding in pre-season.

"Jack Satterley is back from travelling so fingers crossed his international clearance will go through in time for the first game."

Reflecting on the loss to Chichester, the boss added: "It was a good test. Their goals came as a result of a penalty and an individual mistake but apart from that it was an even game.

"They had a lot of possession but didn't really cause us too many problems. The only downside from my point of view is we didn't create too many chances.

"Chichester are a strong side with a healthy budget and have some really good players."