Barnet boss Harry Kewell is hoping to make improvements to his squad ahead of the upcoming National League season, in a bid to strengthen and increase competition for places.

The Australian said he was pleased with how his side had been performing during pre-season, but said that he wants his players to have to fight for their place once competitive football resumes next month.

“I don’t just want to bring a lot of quality but we also want to bring in people that can challenge,” he said in a club interview.

“We’ve got another player Mason Clark, who can can challenge me and I want players to compete because I think if you compete, it gets the best out of you because you know that if you’re not doing your job or you’re sleeping then you just get taken off and the other person comes in and the gets his opportunity.”

The Bees’ most recent pre-season game came at the weekend against Championship Peterborough United, where two different teams played in 75 minute matches against the Posh.

Kewell hopes that by playing teams from higher divisions, his team will be better prepared for the upcoming campaign.

“The idea behind playing top quality clubs is again to get your fitness, but you also get your mental toughness,” he said.

“You learn how long can you concentrate for, and that’s a completely different style of fitness, and that’s what I want my team to do when we do go into games, and I want them to know that we can handle that.

“Don’t forget we’re playing a Championship team. Not only that, but a Championship team that has started two weeks before us, has quality players and great movement.

“Darren’s [Ferguson] done a fantastic job, you can see the quality that they have.

“At the time I had to tell my players I thought they, for the first 10 minutes a little bit like rabbits caught in headlights, but after that we kind of got into the game, and we looked and felt comfortable.

“We were disappointed in the goals that we gave away, but it’s something that we’ve been working on. We’re still learning, this is our third week into it, so we’ve still got four weeks to go.

“I thought it was a superb effort.”