MARK Jones is under no illusions Oxford City’s new-look squad will be tested to the hilt at the start of pre-season.

A behind-closed-doors friendly with Aldershot Town last night will be followed by a home game against Oxford United on Saturday, before Luton Town travel to Court Place Farm next Tuesday.

Boss Jones is happy with his work in assembling a competitive squad, but knows they will need to be at the top of their game from the off.

He said: “We are delighted Oxford United are here to play us on Saturday and then with Luton also coming a few days after, it will be a very difficult first few games for us,”

“It would be great to get a big crowd along to both those games.

“We know the United fixture is always a popular one because it gives supporters of both teams a chance to see the new players up close.

“The result is not the be-all and end-all in pre-season, but it would be nice for us to put in a decent display.

“It is a great chance for us though to improve our fitness levels and work on our patterns of play against some very strong opponents.”

Jones (pictured) believes most of his transfer activity is now done, but he has left room for a couple of new signings.

“We are not quite there yet with the squad,” he said.

“I am very happy with those players we have managed to bring in, but there are still a couple of positions we would like to strengthen.

“I am definitely looking for an experienced central defender to come in and help out.

“We have some very talented young players there, but are maybe missing that older head to help them through.”

He added: “I didn’t want to fill the whole squad up too early, because there are often one or two players that become free later on, and if they are the right ones for us, it is important we have the ability to get them.

“I am really pleased with what I have seen since the players have been back, but obviously there’s a lot of work to be done before the season starts, and our first pre-season games will certainly test us.”