Bootle’s run raises Brian Richardson deadline as play-off claim made despite Stalybridge Celtic defeat

Morgan Homson-Smith in action for Bootle in the FA Trophy against Stalybridge Celtic

Bootle manager Brian Richardson has declared that by the new year the aspirations for his side will become clearer.

A disappointing start to November saw them slip to a defeat against Glossop North End before they exited the FA Trophy after losing on penalties to Stalybridge Celtic.

The Bucks let a two-goal lead slip in the dying embers of their cup tie and tasted what they inflicted on Widnes a round earlier as they fell to the lottery of penalties.

Since succeeding Joe Doran, Brian Richardson has helped Bootle turn their season round moving closer to the play-offs with the places in their sights.

After a promising start, their hopes were dented after their Autumn fortunes, he told Off The Park: We’ve had a bad three games, Glossop result was disappointing, Widnes performance-wise I didn’t think we were at it.

“But I was heartened by the second-half performance against Stalybridge because we played how I wanted us to play and we moved the ball well, on a different say we could’ve beaten a team 20 places higher than us in the pyramid.

“It’s not been the greatest of starts after where we’ve been but you expect a bit of a drop off after a run like that because a lot of these players haven’t been at this level, like I say Saturday’s was a good challenge.

“First half we looked off the pace a little bit, they were a lot stronger then second half we rallied, got to grips to it and I thought it was a really good performance for 30-35 minutes.”

The Bucks have a difficult run on the horizon with a plethora of difficult clashes against teams at the top end of the table, something the Bootle boss believes will provide clarity on where his side is.

“We’ve got some difficult games coming up starting with Leek on Saturday. Marine, Mossley, Workington, City of Liverpool, Warrington Rylands are in there so when you look at it without missing a few,” he added.

“I think by January 1st, we will have a good idea of where we’re at with are we going to be pushing upwards or drifting downwards or even sticking to mid-table.

“That affects then your opinion on what you’ve got, what you need, you’re always on trial players and managers it’s part of football.

“Everyone demands these days, doesn’t matter what level you’re at. It’s the sort of culture we live in, the days of managers staying in at a long period have gone and that’s because of demand from supporters, committees, owners.

“What we want to do is get a good points per return, if we come up with three, four wins against the six sides then I would think we could definitely push towards the playoffs.

“The next few results will say how good a team are you and how far will you take it. Performances are important, from performances you do get results but sometimes you do perform well and lose so I think next six games we’ll set a target for the players that we feel is realistic, in terms of Workington away is on a Tuesday night and Rylands so them games can go either way.

“Staying in touch with the playoffs being four or five points behind when you win your games in hand is important because after Christmas teams to do tend to go one way. Some go stronger and some get weaker after Christmas, we want to be in and around, in contention, of the top half the table come January 1st.

“If we don’t, I think we won’t have done a good enough job in the short term and we need to look to change things.”

[Featured image: Paul Moran]

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