GETHIN Jones has called on Wanderers to push themselves even harder as their pre-season preparations continue behind closed doors at Watford.

Ian Evatt’s men will play their fifth friendly of the summer at the Hornets’ Colney Training Centre in St Albans looking to build on an encouraging performance – if not result – against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

It will be the third consecutive game played out of the public’s gaze, and Jones admits the lack of a crowd creates a different sort of challenge for the players on the pitch.

“We all say when the fans are in the stadium that the intensity does lift 10-20 per cent,” he told The Bolton News. “Sometimes they (the fans) do get on you when you are not playing so well and they also give you the support when you are doing well.

“So , especially in these behind-closed-doors games, you have to lift the tempo yourself. And the way we want to play – high-pressing, expansive football – that sometimes has to come from within.

“The gaffer is on the side-lines belting out instructions, we’re on the pitch shouting at each other to press, but when you have the fans screaming on the side as well it does give you the extra 10-20 per cent, I don’t know why.”

Wanderers’ performance levels improved against Wigan compared to the previous game against Stockport, but Jones accepts the team has yet to really sparkle against professional opposition this summer.

Having sampled the quieter surroundings of Carrington and Lostock, the Whites go to Colney looking to topple a club which has only recently dropped out of the Premier League.

And Jones believes that should be motivation in itself.

“Sometimes it is tough to get going for that type of game but there is no excuse on Saturday, they are a rival team so there was no problem there,” he said.

“It should be the same for Watford because they are a big club with top players and we want to impress.

“When we wake up and come into the training ground it is generally to train, so you do need to switch on a bit, get ready for a game.

“The lads are good, we train hard and we work hard, but it can be difficult to get your mind on quickly.

“We are not looking at it as playing at a training ground or behind closed doors, for us it is a chance to play against a Championship side. “We are excited to go down there and test ourselves again.”