KEITH Curle says he can see his side building confidence and an understanding, after securing back-to-back pre-season wins.

Latics secured a 2-0 win at Stalybridge Celtic as they faced Northern Premier League opposition for the second game in a row.

And ahead of Saturday’s first home friendly with League One Wigan Athletic, head coach Curle says he can see the fruits of their training ground labour already, despite fielding two different XIs in each half as he continues to run the rule over trialists.

Both goals were scored by players who are trying to make an impression on Curle and earn a contract with Latics, while Dean Furman enhanced his chances of a return to Boundary Park by setting up the first.

“It was an excellent workout,” he said.

“We’re showing signs of the things that we’re working on within the group, and it’s important to give the trialists an opportunity to impress as well.

“It was a pleasing game and good workout.

“Two goals and things that we’re working on. We want to dominate possession of the ball, we want to get on the ball but with it we still want to have forward options. People who are willing to run in behind. Sometimes it can be a thankless job but the rewards are there when somebody sees that right pass, somebody takes that option up, it’s important that the runner has got to be there first and foremost.

“If somebody doesn’t play the pass it’s because they’ve seen another option, but we need to make the pitch big and have forward options.

“It can be a thankless task if you’re making the run and you’re not sure if the ball’s coming, but we want that willing worker in behind.”

Curle added: “We’re building confidence and building an understanding.

“We’ve got a new group, a new group with a host of trialists that are trying to impress.

“There are little fundamentals that we’re picking up on.

“Some of the play was slick, some of the play needs improving on, but that’s what pre-season games are for.

“Obviously thanks to Stalybridge for hosting us as well, it’s been vitally important for our preparation.”