Bootle manager David McNabb says their end to the campaign was positive but admits there will be changes ahead of next season.
The former Warrington Rylands and Macclesfield manager was appointed as their third manager of the campaign following Steve McNulty’s resignation. McNabb ended his spell away from the dugout with his arrival at Vesty Road but found himself in a relegation battle.
Bootle suffered defeats to Colne and Mossley before their win over Trafford secured their place in next season’s Northern Premier League West.
The win sparked a three-match unbeaten run before ending their campaign with a defeat to Glossop North End.
This season has been a rollercoaster for fans of the Bucks. They were dumped out of the FA Cup by Congleton Town in what was Brian Richardson’s final game in charge which brought the former Tranmere Rovers defender to the helm.
There were impressive wins over Macclesfield and Workington during his time in charge but the Bucks struggled for consistency and quickly went from playoff outsiders to battling to avoid being sucked into the relegation battle.
McNabb took over from McNulty on the eve of the deadline for registrations and steered Bootle to safety. Now, he has his eyes set on installing their ideas and pushing at the upper reaches of the table.
He told Off The Park: “It’s a great club, it does a lot in the community, the performances this season haven’t been where the club want it to be or the fans or the players but all we can do is try our best to put it right moving forward.
“There’s a lot of positives in and around the club, hopefully we can make a big impact next year.
“It’s hard, it’s not just about ability and the players you’ve got in the changing room, the whole club felt a bit low in terms of confidence,” he added, reflecting on the end of their campaign. “It was about trying to be positive, put a few new ideas across and win some games – we did that – the games where we didn’t come away with a win, Mossley away, the draw against Cables, I thought we were good value to get more than what we actually did. Overall, it was very positive.”
With the hope at Vesty Road for stability in the managerial position, pre-season provides an opportunity for Bootle to get to grips with the ways of their new manager. McNabb helped Rylands to back-to-back promotions during his time there and his ambitions remain on adding success to his CV, in turn there will be some change in personnel among the ranks.
He said: “There’s going to be some changes, we need some fresh faces, we had a fair few players on loan, they’ll probably go back to their respective clubs so we’re going to need new faces. It doesn’t have to be a major overhaul but we do need to build a squad that can help us challenge the upper end of the league.
“It’s [the league] going to be tougher than ever I think. Look, last season the club finished eighth, it’s our target to try and beat that and get into those playoffs then see where it takes us.
“For us to put in to place a full way of playing, implement your style and philosophy, you’re talking six to eight weeks to put that in place,” McNabb added. “There wasn’t an opportunity to do a lot of the coaching at the back end of the season. Pre-season is the perfect time for us to bring it all together, it’s a fresh start for everyone so looking forward to get it started really,
“There’s a lot that the club plays a part in that but we’re here, we want to be, we believe in what the club’s ambitions and goals are. I think it’s a really good match and enjoyed every second so far, the club, the fans have been brilliant for us. Hopefully we can achieve what we want to next summer.”