‘You’ve got to turn up every match’ – Steve McNulty sends clear message as Bootle face Widnes

Tom Peterson celebrates for Bootle vs City of Liverpool

Bootle managet Steve McNulty has emphasised that there are no easy games in the Northern Premier League West and Widnes will be no different.

The Bucks extended their impressive run with a point against City of Liverpool. Tom Peterson’s second-half header denied the Purps the three points after Danny Mitchley’s opener.

This weekend they face a Widnes side who sit at the foot of the table but have had impressive showings against the likes of Workington, Macclesfield, Clitheroe and Runcorn Linnets.

With the difference in league position in mind, McNulty has highlighted the importance to not be complacent.

He told Off The Park: “They got beat by Macc 4-0 so the manager will be wanting a reaction out of them, the lads will want a reaction.

“It’s another tough game and it’s the same old cliche, anyone can beat anyone on their day so it’s important we’re not complacent, we show them the credit they deserve and don’t take anything for granted.

“We have to make sure we turn up ourselves, do a professional performance ourselves, if we do that, do the basics right, there will be enough to win the game.

“We weren’t at our best first-half, I thought we struggled, they come to spoil the game, I thought they were wasting time, scored the goal – a poor goal to concede,” the Bucks boss said on their draw with City of Liverpool.

“But I thought they were wasting time and then we got sucked into playing a little bit like them going back to front too soon, we should’ve been finding passes rather than playing forward too early and we got sucked in.

“There was no tempo to the game, there was nothing, I thought we were a lot better second half, looking at it, it was probably a fair result because we had a couple of chances but they also had a couple of chances late on, I thought the game became stretched.

“We became too open going for the winner but it’s one of them games. You’re not going to play well every week, it’s important you’re still picking some points up.”

The point on Monday saw Bootle move to within six points of the playoff places. As the second half of the season rolls in, the table begins to take shape and McNulty has previously expressed his hope to be in the mix as it becomes clearer.

As they host Widnes this weekend, the ambition and approach is no difference. McNulty revealed: “We’ve drilled it into them, it shouldn’t matter who we’re playing whether it’s City of Liverpool or Macclesfield or Widnes, it doesn’t matter, you’ve got to get up for every single game the same way and I think the lads have been doing that.

“It’s probably we just didn’t perform in the first-half, things like that happen in football there’s nothing you can do about that, the other team come to spoil the game and that’s what happens but we’ve got to be better and stick to our game plan, not get sucked in to the way they’re playing.

“The lads have been the great over the last seven or so weeks, picked up some great results, sitting alright in the league and in the next couple of weeks it will settle down and you can have a proper look at it – possibly have a push for the playoffs.

“We want to stay in the game, take no chances in the first 15 and try get a foothold in the game, let our football do the talking. Like every game we won’t approach it any different, it’s the same messages, same gameplay. We won’t be changing anything, we’ll keep practicing what has give us success and do that Saturday.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, it’s going to be a tough game, I haven’t looked too far ahead. People have been telling me we’ve got a difficult month and February is tough but we’re up for the challenge.

“We’ve showed over the last few weeks we can mix with the teams at the top of the table if we turn up – that’s what we’ll be doing sending a message across that you’ve got to turn up every game. There’s no doubt we can mix it with these teams at the top of the table.”

[Featured image: Paul Moran]

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