Bootle manager David McNabb says the Bucks are ready to bounce back from their shock FA Cup exit after a week of soul-searching.
Their competition came to an end in the Extra Preliminary Round as they were brushed aside by lower league opposition in Prestwich Heys.
There was an outpouring of disappointment from Bootle fans in light of their torrid afternoon in Greater Manchester. McNabb says the squad have cleared the air after the “unacceptable” display.
He told Off The Park: “I think it was a poor performance, really poor and a poor result. Ultimately, it was a competition that we wanted to at least play a couple of rounds in but it’s not to be, we can’t change it now.
“We’ve done a lot of soul-searching and reflection in the last week. We spoke to the players on Tuesday at training, they took a lot of stuff on board, we’ve held our hands up in terms of the accountabilities, it was an unacceptable performance all around.
“You go into those games and there’s an element of playing against a team who have played two or three competitive league games and in pre-season two or three weeks longer,” McNabb continued dissecting where he felt it went wrong.
“There’s an element of physicality, they’re tough games and Prestwich were good value for the performance. We can’t put our finger on why it was so poor but it hurt.It was a one off, I’ve got no doubts about it.
“I’m sure we’ll lose games play poorly throughout hte season but it’s the manner in which you conduct yourselves, I think we’d all agree; staff, players and board that it was unacceptable on Saturday. We want to come and put a show on for the fans now, we can make things right.”
After an in-depth private discussion on Tuesday night, the Bootle boss feels that they are making positive strides but insists that the team meeting remains within the dressing room.
He added: “It’s been positive, there’s been a few things said where we focused on individuals and collectives that will remain private but what was pleasing was there was no one shirking responsibility.
“There was no one looking to push the blame, everyone took it on the chin that collectively we wasn’t good enough.
“Everyone has had a positive reaction, we’ve seen positive strides forward so hopefully, we can go into Saturday playing with more freedom and giving a good performance.
“From that point, everything has been positive, we had a good session on Tuesday, Thursday was possibly the best training session we’ve had all the way through so the lads are in good shape, we’ve got a couple back and available. Still not perfect and have a couple unavailable but we’re hoping to be stronger and a bit more positive going into Saturday.”
Ahead of the new season, Bootle made a number of high profile additions prompting many to tip them with success at the upper reaches of the table.
Their pre-season showings provided lessons for the Bucks management staff. Their focus now turns to Newcastle Town with the boost of returnees and additions – with three expected to be added this weekend.
Their opponents are under new stewardship since their previous meeting but McNabb is looking to get off to a strong start at Vesty Road.
“They’re a good side with a new manager so it will be a tough challenger. We’re playing at home, we need to make sure our home form is much improved from last season but hopefully we can have a response for the fans and get a positive result,” he said.
“There’s no point looking back, we’ve said our peace, we will take the lessons from last weekend, we can’t change it. It’s our first league game of the season, the bread and better, we’ll put everything into getting the three points.”