Worthing boss Gary Elphick says his side's pre-season campaign has been a mixed bag so far.
Worthing performed well in matches away to National South sides Whitehawk (1-1) and Eastbourne Borough (3-1) but have struggled at home with defeats to Bognor (0-4), Horsham (3-4), a 1-1 draw with Lewes and a late 2-1 victory over Worthing United.
Worthing led 3-0 against Horsham on Saturday, before the visitors fought back to win 4-3.
Elphick said: "There were positives and negatives. We were 3-0 up with 25 minutes to go but then I took Kane Wills off and it turned the game on its head.
"There was no leadership and it showed a little bit of a lack of depth with Kershaney (Samuels) and Ross (Edwards) not playing.
"There was some fantastic attacking play from us but some really sloppy defensive play."
Worthing's Bostik League Premier Division campaign kicks-off at Met Police on August 12 and Elphick said: "It's been 50-50 so far in pre-season.
"We put in great displays at Whitehawk and Eastbourne Borough but against some lesser teams at home we haven't turned up.
"It's very early days, though, and there's been a lot of players coming and going. Overall, there's been more positives than negatives.
"Worthing are now more of a regional club, rather than just local, which is shown by the players who have joined. But we'll always have a core of youth players coming through as that's part of the club's identity."
Elphick was delighted midfielder Ross Edwards did a u-turn and committed his future to the club at the weekend, having announced he was leaving on Thursday. He said: "He just panicked a bit as he didn't think he was part of our plans.
"I've sat down with him and told him he'll play a lot of games this season as we think highly of him. Ross had said he wasn't enjoying it but that probably wasn't the truth, he just wanted a bit more game time.
"We're pleased he's decided to stay as he's the type of player who is so important to the identity of the club."
Winger Zack Newton made his return from eight months out in Saturday's friendly and Elphick said: "He's coming on leaps and bounds now and could be fit for the start of the season.
"He'll pick up minutes against Forest Green and Hastings and it's fantastic to see him back."
Harvey Sparks is still five or six weeks away from returning from his ankle ligament injury, while Elphick is keeping tabs on Jack Cook who has been released by Aldershot.
Goalkeeper Jack Fagan has also informed Elphick he does not intend to play for the club for the foreseeable future, with former Whitehawk stopper Lucas Covolan set to join the club.
Speaking to www.worthingfc.com, Elphick said: “Jack’s come to me and said he doesn’t want to compete with Lucas for the number one shirt and will be concentrating on his coaching business.
“As far as I’m aware he has no plans to play elsewhere so technically we’ll still hold his registration – if injuries occur and we needed him I’d hope he’d answer the call, but for the foreseeable future he won’t be around."
Worthing host Forest Green Rovers when Omar Bugiel returns to Woodside Road tomorrow (7.45pm) and then conclude their pre-season at Adam Hinshelwood's Hastings side on Saturday.
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