Bootle manager Steve McNulty says they didn’t get the basics right as they were humbled by Clitheroe but insists they must pick themselves back up.
Their trip to Ribble Valley was a disappointing one as four first-half goals put the game beyond reach on a miserable evening on Tuesday.
It was straight defeats for the Bucks as the league leaders, Macclesfield, got their revenge following Bootle’s comeback win over the Silkmen earlier in the season.
While they sit 11 points away from the playoffs, the threat of relegation still hasn’t passed with three points separating them and the relegation playoffs, with the cushion about the bottom two sitting at seven points.
Reflecting on their recent run, McNulty told Off The Park: “I said to the lads after the game it was a tough result, a hard result to take, we just didn’t do the basics right. I go on about the basics and we just didn’t get them right.
“We were sloppy in our shape, play, defending, it’s one, two defeats in 14 games so can’t be too hard on the lads, we’ve been on a decent run in them 14 games so the only gripe is we’ve drew too many but we’ve been on a great run so can’t be too hard on them, we just have to take our medicine.
“I thought the performance on Saturday was good, I thought we were at least good for a point and could’ve nicked it in the end but we go again, it just wasn’t us against Clitheroe, not we’re about as a team. Watched the game back, analysed it, how we can do better and improve.
“Maybe not scoring enough goals or winning games, we are drawing too many so I wouldn’t say it’s a concern, it’s something we can work on and look at in training to create more chances and goals.
“I thought we were a bit all over the place, sloppy all over the pitch, sloppy in possession, weren’t getting back into the shape and individual errors, not stopping crosses, in recent weeks we’ve stopped that so would you put it down to an off night for the lads?” He added, dissecting the midweek defeat to Dave Dempsey’s side.
“You might have to because the lads have been in the good run we’ve had so we can’t be too hard on them. The lads were down in the dressing room, it’s about getting around them, picking them back up when we train and we’ll do some analysis then we’ve got another tough game.
“It’s about regrouping, picking ourselves back up and getting on another good run.”
This weekend they make the trip to Workington, one of the furthest away days for the Bucks. They travel to Danny Grainger’s side who are among the in-form teams in the Northern Premier League West picking up 14 points from six.
Only Macclesfield are higher in the form guide due to their superior goal difference. While Bootle are “under no illusions” of the task, McNulty insists that their recent
“Other than Tuesday, I think we’ve been in form, I had Robbie Savage on the phone saying how good we were, how we conduct ourselves as a club, as a team, it’s nice to hear.
“People are taking note and, take Tuesday out, I don’t think teams will look forward to playing us while we’ve been on a good run ourselves. We’re under no illusions they’re one of the form sides, they’re a really good side but we’ll pick ourselves up, go there with a gameplan, going there looking to win it. It’ll be no different Saturday, we’re under no illusions.
“There’s no easy game in this league, it’s about who turns up on the day or the night, bottom can beat top on any given day. Results have been a bit mad this season and we want to look to push on and get as close to them playoffs as we can and maybe nick in them.
“The good thing about football is that there’s always another game and you’re not waiting too long,” he said about getting a response from their recent defeat. “We know what the group can do, we know what every individual can do, we’ve been in about six months, we know what they can do, they don’t need to impress us anymore. We’ve been on a good run, it’s about picking ourselves up and going Saturday, putting in a good performance and get a result.”