Bootle manager Brian Richardson was pleased to pick up the three points rather than see a good performance in the win over City of Liverpool.
The win keeps the run going for Bucks as they needed a late flurry with goals from Michael Carberry, Morgan Homson-Smith and Tom Peterson to overcome the deficit against Michael Ellison’s side.
In a match heaped with controversy as the Purps won a dubious penalty before the referee saw no wrongdoing in the build-up to the equaliser.
But the Bootle boss was delighted to earn the three points and keep them in with a shout of the play-offs, but Richardson is under no illusions Linnets will be a ‘big test’.
He told Off The Park: “I didn’t think it was a particularly good game, didn’t think there was that many scoring chances, the conditions weren’t great but other people who watched the game said they thought it was a good time.
“So sometimes I’ve got to got to take stock on what I’m watching, I thought the result was more important than anything, it keeps us in touch with everything.
“We were 1-0 down to a debatable penalty, is the best way I can put it, then there was a little bit of debate about our goal as well but you’ve got to live with those things at the end of the day, the result is still the same on Sunday morning whether you’ve been hard done to or not, you’ve got to ride them out and your team more importantly because they’ve got to carry on performing on the pitch and not break their concentration on what they’re trying to achieve.
“It was a good result, we’re happy and it keeps us in touch.
“They’re all big games, you can call Runcorn Linnets a big game then lose to Market Drayton, Kendal and drop points to teams lower down.
“Suddenly the big game you done well in seems useless because you struck it off. What people have got to say is it’s a big game and every team in this league are capable of causing upsets. You’ve got to be wary in every game that they’re a potential banana skin and that’s what I’m telling our players.
“I thought Saturday was one of them, Mick’s [Ellisons] teams don’t just have back-to-back bad perfomances, they don’t lose many back-to-back, he would’ve said their draw with Kidsgrove was a bad performance. I thought they were going to come and give us a difficult game and they did. Fortunately, we came through it.
“We had a few chances way before the flurry goals at the end, maybe I was over critical of ours lads, we do demand standards and we want them to be adhered to, if we want to get where we’re going to get, where the goal is.
“I think we hit the post, Ollie Martin produced some really good saves in the first-half but again it’s a 90-minute game. The important thing is we got the three points and that’s important at this stage of the season.
“A bit special wasn’t it? [Morgan Homson-Smith’s free-kick] A good free-kick, I thought Tom Peterson’s goal was a good one as well.
“Carbs had a little bit of fortune in it, little bit of deflection, he’s tried to convince me after it was definitely going in the top-corner. We certainly went for it, more in the last 20, we made changes I thought impacted the game in a good way.”
The Bucks manager discussed his striking options and what methods he’s using to keep them fresh, as well as a firing.
He added: “Bootle have never a problem scoring goals. The problem has sometimes been convincing Jack [McGowan] and Tom [Peterson] that not playing every week is benefitting the team, because it’s not benefitting them.
“The argument is are they fresher because they’ve not got as many games in and they’re hungry.
“We challenge them all season ‘show us who’s best’ and every week they come up with a goal and that says to me that shows the element of competition in the squad it brings the best out of them, do they like it? Do they ‘eck because they want to be in every week.
“There’s no arguing with the stats, they’re scoring every time, they’ve virtually, not every week, scored every time they’ve gone in they’ve scored.
“There’s nothing between them as strikers they both have different qualities, it shows when there’s competition and you know you’ve got good players, breathing down your neck for a place, that you can’t be complacent – that’s the killer – and we haven’t got complacency in our team.
“Everyone’s wants to be in the team and apart of the push to be as close to the play-offs as we can and at the moment it’s a very healthy place to be.”
With Runcorn Linnets next, despite playing down the play-off talk a matter of weeks ago, he feels that their hopes could hinder on whether they can push on and creep in as the games tick down.
He explained: “Runcorn have got a lot of technically good players, they’re a dangerous team, got goals in them. It’s a difficult game, they’ve probably not done as well in the last couple of months as they’d want to but fortunately the teams behind them haven’t made a lot of headway on them.
“They’ve got quality players, [Iwan] Murray he’s a fabulous player, he’s got free-kicks and goals in them, he’s a danger man, he scored a goal last week and they had a good win at Market Drayton. There’s no doubt they have got a lot of good players, not just him.
“There’s no change, the next game’s a big game, it’s the big game because it’s the next one that’s how we go about our business. They’re a good side with good players and it’ll be a good game.
“We’re all looking forward to it. Runcorn will be a very big test for us and if we come through Saturday, we might think we’re not as far away from the play-offs as we think.”