Judge us all you want, we'll be fine, is the stark message from Welwyn Garden City Marc Weatherstone as he prepares for the Southern League season.

The Citizens have had a few eyebrow-raising results in pre-season including a 7-1 loss to Chesham United and a 5-0 reverse away to Wingate & Finchley.

That was followed by a 1-0 loss in the Herts Charity Shield away to Colney Heath, the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side scoring in the first minute of injury time at the end of the game.

But while others may be questioning Welwyn's chances ahead of a new Division One Central campaign, the City boss is not.

"I'll keep a smile on my face," said Weatherstone after the Colney defeat. "I know everyone will start judging us early doors and good, I want them to judge me. 

"People will look at the 7-1 against Chesham. We played 10 men at 1-0 down for a reason because if we get a man sent off [this season], we need to work on that. 

"Second half we had all the trialists come in, the same with Wingate. 

"It's been a heavy schedule so I've got to use trialists in the squads and I couldn't care less about results.

"I don't like losing for sure but let the whole league judge us and think we're struggling because come August 12, we’ll be much better."

"This was more of a disappointing result, more than [Chesham and Wingate] because of the team we had out. 

"We’ve got massive potential. We’ve got a few big signings so it's a bit of a change and they need to gel. 

"But no excuses. We weren't good enough."

The gap between the first-round match and the start of the season, at home to Biggleswade, is what is keeping the boss grounded.

He did reveal though that the time for trialists is over and it is time to knuckle down over the last four pre-season games.

He said: "We've got another three weeks to go and there will be more signings and people leaving. 

"Saturday is when I really need to pick the 16, 18 players I want for the season. 

"But that being said, even the boys that have signed, if they're not on it, then they won't be around much longer. 

"I need a team that has the desire and the hunger to go and win games ugly as well. We're looking pretty but pretty doesn't win you games. We’ve got to have that rough side."

Welwyn had dominated the first half at the Recreation Ground but failed to really test former keeper Connor Sansom in the Magpies' goal.

The second half was more of the same and it looked like penalties would be needed to decide the contest until Pijus Monvydas popped up with the late winner.

It was a performance that annoyed Weatherstone.

He said: "We played against a team who wanted it a bit more than us, that’s a simple fact. 

"I put out a really strong team with a lot of experience and it doesn’t matter how good you are as a footballer, if you don’t have the desire to win a game then that's the results you’re going to receive. 

"Unfortunately, we were very naïve, we didn’t really look like winning the game and I thought 0-0 was probably a fair result. 

"You wouldn't know we were the step four team playing a step five one. In fact I would have said Colney Heath looked like the step four team."

The lack of goals is another thing that has him scratching his head.

"That's really the story of our pre-season so far," he said. "My philosophy is of playing, I like to play football, but I also know that when you come to places like this, you've got to change it up. 

"There is enough experience in the team to know when to change it up, when to play it long and when to turn it and when to play. 

"It was a bobbly pitch, it was dry but we still carried on trying to pass it. And we might look good in possession, but possession doesn’t win you games. 

"We've had a lot of fairly good possession in the last few games but we haven't [really] registered a shot on target for three games. 

"If you don't shoot, you don't score and if you're better in the final third, then you have half a chance.

"But unfortunately, we’ve not been good enough so far in the final third."