LUCAS Akins says there is a defensive foundation at Burton Albion upon which he and his attacking colleagues can build.
The Brewers' pre-season continued with a morale-boosting 4-0 win over League One side Sheffield United in Staurday's Bass Charity Vase clash at the Pirelli.
New signing Akins was on target in the win, and was involved in the build-up to two other goals, and while he says the result means nothing, the 25-year-old Yorkshireman has seen plenty in his first two outings for the club to be positive about the coming season.
"It's always nice to win, but pre-season is for getting minutes under your belt and getting back into the swing of things," he said.
"There's no gold medals in pre-season – the onus is on league games and that's what we're trying to build up to now.
"It's pleasing that we scored four against a quality team in Sheffield United who, under Nigel Clough, will be up there again this season.
"It was good to get a decent crowd here and put in a decent performance but it's a friendly at the end of the day. The league is your bread and butter and that's where we want to do well."
Accepting the proviso that Saturday was the Blades' first friendly of the summer, Burton looked sharp in the first 45 minutes, taking a 3-0 half-time lead through Akins, Alex MacDonald and Dominic Knowles.
A stronger second-half United team, up against a Burton team featuring four trialists, caused more problems, but the hosts held them at bay before scoring a fourth through Louis Cutajar.
"We've got a great attacking team and defensive team – as we've seen," said Akins.
"When you keep clean sheets it is less pressure on the strikers, because you only need to score one.
"The whole team has done well and have to be happy with the shift they've put in.
"We've got strikers who can score goals and if midfielders, wingers, centre-halves and full-backs can chip in with goals, then that's an added bonus."
On his goal, he added: "Stu Beavon has been tremendous – he's obviously very experienced, very sharp.
"He's done well to cut it back and find me and I've just managed to catch it and it's gone in.
"I like playing out on the wing and although I can play up top as well, I like being involved in things and trying to create goals.
"There's a lot of hard work coming into a new team but hopefully I'll get to know how they play and they'll get to know my game.
"But so far I've adapted.
"It's been very tough but rewarding to get out there.
"Everyone has put in a decent shift and hopefully that will continue onto tonight and tomorrow (against Hednesford Town and Mickleover Sports respectively)."