David McNabb says the bar has been set by his Bootle squad after their commanding 6-2 win over Consett AFC.
The Bucks waltzed into the next round of the Isuzu FA Trophy at the expense of the Northern Premier League East side.
It was a memorable afternoon all around after debut goals for Bailey Thompson and Sam Burns, a late double from captain Andy Scarisbrick with Owen Robinson and Ethen Vaughan netting their first goals for the club during the rout.
For McNabb, the hope is that it is the marker for their positive swing after dusting themselves down from their disappointing showings to go unbeaten in their last five.
He told Off The Park: “Without a doubt it was the best performance since we took over at the back end of last season.
“The way we kept the ball, sustained periods of pressure in their half, probing and waiting for openings – we scored six really good goals, arguably could’ve had more.
“I thought the goals, particularly the second was disappointing but pleased with the overall performance.
“Lads individually need confidence but as a group and a collective they need confidence as well. It’s one of those things you always want as well, it’s very hard to get at times, we won two games on the bounce and Saturday was particularly pleasing that we did it.
“That’s five games, we had three draws before that and defensively we look really strong so it was good for the new lads to get goals and get their tallys rolling but as a team, I thought we were really, really good.”
The summer brought a series of change to the playing squad with wholesale outgoings and incomings. Movement continued as of this week with Calen Gallagher joining Lancaster City, on the eve of their FA Trophy tie, Thompson, Burns and defender Lewis Earle arrived.
At the beginning of the former Warrington Rylands and Macclesfield manager’s tenure, McNabb was forced to scramble for additions in the Bucks’ push for survival after arriving on the eve of the registration deadline.
“It has been a bit of a reshuffle and start again, some times have come in and maybe not lasted as long as we thought but we’ve got a really strong squad now,” McNabb explained. “We’re really happy with where we are, competition all over the place and now it’s about the players embracing the competition and pushing each other. That then should lead to positive performances and positive results.”
This weekend sees Bootle host newly-promoted Vauxhall Motors. Mick McGraa’s side won promotion to the Northern Premier League West after going up as champions from the North West Counties Premier League.
After a slow start, Motors have picked up two wins in two, one of which coming in an impressive away display away to Mossley AFC in the FA Trophy.
Following Bootle’s emphatic win seven days ago, McNabb says the expectation levels have been set after their eye-catching display at home to Consett.
He said: “The lads have set the bar for themselves on Saturday so that’s now the minimum we have to achieve week in, week out.
“Vauxhall is going to be a tough game, Mick will have his side organised, be hard to beat and resolute, they’ll have players who can help teams. It’ll be a tough game but after Saturday and the weekend before, we’re certainly looking forward to the challenge that it brings.”