STEVE WATSON believes York City will go into the pre-season game against Bolton Wanderers better off thanks to lessons learnt in defeat to Leeds United.

The Minstermen boss also indicated that most of Wednesday's squad will be available for Sunday (2pm) - and those who are not should be back for Hartlepool United next midweek.

Championship outfit Leeds came away from Bootham Crescent with a relatively comfortable 5-0 win, showing their class with a strong team which were largely in control of the game in the first hour, before being brought off to give a youthful side a run-out in the last 30 minutes.

Watson insists there were also positives for City, who got a first look at all five of their summer signings together on the pitch, as well as two triallists in centre-back Josh King and midfielder Billy Beresford.

"We knew Leeds were going to be fit and ahead of us anyway, starting pre-season a month earlier," Watson said. "But sometimes you forget how good teams are at the higher levels of football.

"If I hadn't been the opposition manager, I would have enjoyed watching them play.

"I thought we were very impressive and learnt a lot of lessons - more than if we beat a team five levels below us 5-0.

"Our ball retention was poor. It's difficult to spend so long chasing the ball, because when you make passes, that's when you get your breather.

"But it's all things that can be worked on.

"I don't think we'll face many teams like that. We won't have that type of intensity against us.

"We learnt lessons with and without the ball, and it was the first time a lot of the lads had played together.

"Hopefully it's been a productive 90 minutes one way or another.

"We'll be better equipped on Sunday."

Steve McNulty and Beresford are likely to be among the absentees on Sunday. Watson is looking to give the former a little more rest, having featured for Tranmere Rovers in the League Two play-off final a month after the regular National League North season ended, while Beresford is struggling with his hamstring.

Similar to Wednesday, Watson is aiming to give his first-half side a full hour against the Trotters and a further half-hour to the remainder of the squad.

Bolton, meanwhile, are looking forward to their first game of pre-season after returning for training on July 2.

Off the field, Wanderers have been beset by problems since entering administration around the end of last season, and will start next term with a 12-point deduction.

The former Premier League club are reportedly approaching a takeover deal, which could help allay the troubles that have beset the club recently. Administrators report £25 million in company creditors which - among other issues - has meant the team has not been able to use facilities other than the pitch at their Lostock training ground.

Bolton are yet to make a signing for the coming 2019/20 campaign, though there is a buzz around youngsters Dennis Politic and Ronan Darcy.

Romanian midfielder Politic and 18-year-old Darcy have both been involved in first-team training and could be drafted in for Sunday.