MARK Collier admits he's ready to move into the fine-tuning phase of Chippenham Town's pre-season preparations with three friendlies remaining before the start of their first season in National League South.

The Bluebirds were defeated 3-2 at Southern League side Banbury United on Saturday and head to Toolstation League outfit Hallen on Tuesday before making the short trip to Melksham Town on Saturday and concluding their summer programme with a home appointment against Swindon Town on August 1.

Collier is satisfied with the progress his squad are making on the countdown to their season opener against Havant & Waterlooville on August 5 at Hardenhuish Park but concedes decisions over squad size and playing shape still need to be rubber-stamped before the action proper gets under way.

New signing Josh Morgan-Williams and fellow frontman Dave Pratt netted in the defeat in Oxfordshire, but the Bluebirds manager will step up his squad's focus as the beginning of the campaign fast approaches.

"It was what we expect from a pre-season fixture,'' said the Bluebirds boss. "There were good and bad things and we changed it around again.

"I'm thinking about getting to grips with what we want to do with the squad now. We have a group of about 22 at the moment and the reality is that we are not going to be able to keep it at that size when the season starts.

"There's a possibility we might have two more (players) coming in and if they do, we will then have to look at trimming the numbers. We can only pick a squad of 16 for the league games and you are not going to be able to have seven or eight sitting in the stands because they are going to want to play football.''

He added: "A few more players got 90 minutes in the tank but we're still tinkering with the shapes a little bit. We'll start to tighten those up now as we get to the last friendlies but the players are coming together and the fitness is looking good.''