BRAINTREE Town manager Brad Quinton feels his team's first pre-season test against Football League opposition has highlighted the work they need to do as their preparations continue.

The Iron enjoyed a 4-0 win at Newmarket Town on Saturday, but came up against a sterner test when they were beaten 5-0 by League Two neighbours Colchester United at Cressing Road on Tuesday.

It was an impressive display by a U's side with sights firmly set on a promotion campaign this year, but for Braintree, it showed the work they need to do ahead of the start of the Vanarama National League season.

It will be a step up for Quinton's team after their play-off success in National League South last year and the boss is seeing that work rates must be lifted as the clock ticks down to the first game against FC Halifax Town on August 4.

He said: “Individually my players need to be fitter.

“I’m not comparing them with Colchester, but individually, when we have the ball or someone loses the ball then they have to put the hard graft in.

“Running off the ball – unselfish running – there needs to be a lot more from them.

“So in sessions now, we will be doing work on that.

“Individually and as a squad, they will be pushed now.

“It’s time to start analysing everyone."

Braintree continue building towards the start of the season when they host Championship side Ipswich Town at Cressing Road on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

It will be the Blues' first game under new manager Paul Hurst and a big crowd could be at the game to see how he sets his side up, but Quinton is concentrating on the job he has to do and he said his players will be worked hard to make sure they are ready for the start of the season.

He added: “It’s still quite early and it can be difficult to settle back in after getting promoted and accepting where we are.

“I think there’s still a bit of shock there for everyone.

“But you have to start working hard and we’re trying to nail down people to get done what we can and to push them as hard as we can.

“There is still a lot of work to do with the squad at this moment in time.

“It’s a bit of unchartered territory for me as a manager but it’s a big learning curve for these boys and they're realising that they have to work even harder now.

“Hopefully things like that Colchester game will make it hit home with them.

“We’ll be honest with the guys and we’ll focus on what we have to do.

“But there were still lots of positives I saw against Colchester.

“We’re all looking forward to the season ahead.

“There are some big teams to play and some nice grounds to go to.

“It’s just round the corner for these guys now and we need to step up the hard work."

Braintree follow the game against Ipswich with another pre-season outing on Tuesday when they will be heading to play on an artificial pitch at Bostik League division north side AFC Sudbury (kick-off 7.45pm).