Despite the disappointing performance on the night, Nicholson did note that the performance could serve as a livener to help United set a higher standard moving forward.
“It is a strange mixture really” said Nicholson. “I am strangely happy because last season we flew through pre-season. No speed bumps. Everybody happy and loving each other. No issues whatsoever. Won all of the games bar one that we drew. That’s [the Tiverton match] our speed bump. That shows the lads that it isn’t all sweetness and light and roses. There is a hell of a lot to work on.
“You come away from the game on Wednesday, and I said it on Wednesday night – don’t go getting carried away think you have cracked anything. We have now effectively shown that we can beat Bristol City’s youth team and then we can get ourselves up for a game at Plainmoor when there is 1,200 people there and a nice pitch and a nice atmosphere. We can also come out and not perform at all against a team that is 3/4 divisions below us. We got physically dominated by them. We got outplayed by them and they wanted it more. I’m glad that has happened now and not against Tranmere.
“From our point of view as a coaching staff we are still figuring out what our strengths and weaknesses are. We know we have got honest lads. We know we have got players but they’ve not played together not very often. That now gives us something to focus on. It gives us some insight into what we are. It gives the lads a little reality check because every team in the country right now loves each other. No-one has been dropped and no-one has lost a game. We haven’t lost any points today but we have certainly given ourselves something to bounce back from.”
United came through the match relatively unscathed, but there was a scare when midfielder Damon Lathrope had to come off in the first half.
“Yeah, I think Damon Lathrope obviously had to come off but I think it was just an impact [injury] rather than anything else. At the time I was a bit worried it was a ligament thing but he’s ok. Other than bruised egos I think they are fine” added Nicholson.