YORK City upped the tempo in their pre-season preparations on Sunday - and came away with a superb 1-0 win against Premier League outfit Newcastle United.

This was the second warm-up fixture of ahead of the 2021/22 campaign Steve Watson’s men have faced and was a world away from the first against Whitby Town.

Newcastle did not take it easy on the team selection - near enough every position on the field was at one point filled by a top-level player - but stand-out performances across the board from a very hardworking City saw them through.

Here are five things we learnt.

1. There is promise in this attack

Comparisons with last season must always come with the caveat that players had next to no time to bed in and thus cannot be judged too harshly.

That said, too often last season, City’s attack was downright insipid.

On Sunday, we hopefully saw what we can expect to witness during the upcoming competitive campaign. There was good interplay between Clayton Donaldson and Kurt Willoughby alternately dropping deep to collect while Mackenzie Heaney and Olly Dyson - players who share a similar desire to pitch in with assists - provided good balance on the left and right flanks, respectively.

2. Watson prizes an attacking full-back

Let us not forget that the sole goal of what will be City’s biggest scalp of pre-season came from right-back Michael Duckworth, who was teed up by left-back Scott Barrow.

The 2019/20 campaign was characterised by lightning drives from David Ferguson and Kallum Griffiths, whose assists were not replicated by Barrow and Duckworth last season.

Watson wants the pair to get further forward next season and his vision was on display at the weekend, Duckworth also having a shot from inside the area saved.

3. Josh King is some centre-back

At just 20 years old, it was impossible not to be impressed with his coolness in dealing with Premier League hitman Callum Wilson, or his perfectly timed backtrack and block from Allan Saint-Maximin.

He will be an able deputy to the experienced Sean Newton and Matty Brown.

4. Paddy McLaughlin has still got it

The 30-year-old showed why he has been given a new contract at York at the weekend, deservedly winning the sponsors’ man of the match.

Sometimes passed by in the physical National League North, McLaughlin read the game excellently from midfield, winning the ball back in vital areas with a minimum of fuss.

His dual role as player and part-time sports scientist - helping with post-training recovery, for example - could yet pay dividends.

5. Pre-season fitness seems to be going to plan

Both Newton and Duckworth have attested to the strains of returning to pre-season training, which has featured extra-long sessions to get City back up to speed after nearly five months out.

But it looks to be doing the players the world of good. On a very warm day at the LNER Community Stadium - the mercury was coming up to 30 degrees Celsius - City kept up an outstanding intensity against Newcastle.

Provided there is no burn-out before the season kicks off, York should be in a good place to challenge National League North opposition.