Ahead of Saturday’s second pre-season fixture over in the USA, Phil Parkinson sat down with the media to preview the clash against LA Galaxy II.
The squad landed on US soil last Sunday and took the pitch for the first time on Tuesday against Chelsea in North Carolina.
All 22 players in the matchday squad featured at the Kenan Memorial Stadium, as the build-up to our EFL return continues.
Five changes were made at the break, and the remaining substitutions were all made on the hour mark.
Now in LA, Parkinson reflected on the first leg in North Carolina, and he explained how important that first game was for everyone.
“The game against Chelsea was a great test for us because of the humidity and the standard of play that we came up against so early for us,” Parkinson began.
“Everyone has to remember that when you play a team from a higher division, the demands are much greater on our players and to come through that with injuries was a huge bonus for us.
“We’re all pinching ourselves to turn up at the Kenan Memorial Stadium with 50,000 people watching us against Chelsea. If someone had said that to you a few years ago, you’d have thought it was a wind-up.
“We went into the game knowing our out-of-possession work was going to be important because when you play a team with that quality, you have to expect them to dominate possession.
“Even though we conceded five goals, we were quite tight as a team which seems strange to say when you look at the scoreline.”
After a long day travelling from Chapel Hill to LA, the player's touchdown on the west coast on Thursday afternoon Pacific Time.
From there, they had a light recovery session after the Chelsea fixture and a full day’s training on Friday.
As well as settling into a new environment and training, there was still time for a sightseeing tour and team bonding away from the pitch.
Saturday’s opposition LA Galaxy II currently sit third from bottom in the USL Western Conference after 34 games.
The fixture will provide the rare opportunity to play a team during their season, whilst Parkinson’s men are still building their fitness.
Ahead of the match at Dignity Health Sports Park, Parkinson added it will be another great, but important test for the squad.
He said: “It’s difficult to predict what team Galaxy will play, so we will just concentrate on what we can do.
“Hopefully we will see more of the ball in the game, but it’s hard for me to predict the standard of the opposition.
“One thing I know for sure is that the Galaxy players will be extremely fit because they are in the middle of their season.
“It’s going to be a great exercise for us to go toe-to-toe with a team that is already mid-season.”
With the quick return to action after the fixture in Chapel Hill, rotation will be key throughout the tour.
It’ll be another opportunity for the Red Dragons to play in front of worldwide Reds that have travelled across America to watch the game, and from the other corners.
Discussing the match, Parkinson expressed that rotation will be a key feature during the contest.
He said: “There will be changes again, pre-season is a progression of minutes because we need to make sure that when we go back, everyone is ready and available for selection for the MK Dons game.
“It’s getting the minutes right in each player, which is an interesting challenge because we have 26 players with us.
“Some will get more minutes than others, but the general aim is to get every in as good of a position as possible.”