YORK City manager Steve Watson predicts tomorrow evening’s game against Hartlepool United will be the most appropriate test of pre-season.

In preparation for the 2019/20 National League North campaign, the Minstermen have already come up against last season’s Championship play-off contenders Leeds United and League One outfit Bolton Wanderers.

Still to come are Notts County - who were relegated from League Two last season - and BetVictor Northern Premier League sides Scarborough Athletic, South Shields and Pickering Town.

Pools, meanwhile, have finished their last two seasons in the National League 15th and 16th following their 2017 relegation from League Two.

“I think the Hartlepool game will be a lot closer to what we’re going to face on a weekly basis,” Watson said.

“They’re still a very good National League side and they will be very competitive against us.

“It’s a really good test,” he added on the variety of pre-season opposition. “It’s three very different games and I expect Hartlepool will be the closest of who we will face all pre-season.”

At this stage of preparations, Watson is still looking to give players match experience - though the Leeds and Bolton games have already given him food for thought.

Centre-back Steve McNulty and midfielder Billy Beresford missed out on Sunday against the Trotters but Watson was confident of them being fit enough for tomorrow.

“I wouldn’t be thinking about playing the team I’ll play at the start of the season until the last couple of games of pre-season,” Watson said.

“But even after two games, I’ve got an idea of what I want to do.

“The lads who didn’t play (against Leeds) will be involved on Wednesday. It’s a chance to get minutes under their belts and to make my mind up for me.”

Striker Alex Kempster has also praised the Minstermen's pre-season schedule. The 23-year-old got his first full 90 minutes of the campaign on Sunday against Bolton, netting the first-half winner.

"I got a good run-out, created a lot of chances and I'm glad I got the goal," he said.

"(Hartlepool) will be another good test - they're all good tests pre-season, Leeds, Bolton, Hartlepool."