‘I don’t want it to die off’ – Bootle manager Steve McNulty makes honest admission following ‘poor’ Dunston UTS defeat

Bootle in action against Dunston in the FA Trophy

Bootle manager Steve McNulty admitted the performance against Dunston UTS was poor as they were dumped out of the FA Trophy.

The exit came during a drab showing against the Northern Premier League East outfit as the North East side fired home three second-half goals.

Michael Fowler, Richard Coulson and Liam Thear were on the scoresheet as they punished the Bucks handing McNulty his second defeat as manager.

Reflecting on the performance, the former Tranmere Rovers and Luton defender couldn’t find the reason for the display but admitted his side were not at the races.

He told Off The Park: “I thought we were poor. From the first whistle we didn’t get going, I can’t put my finger on why but we’ll have a look at the video, dissect it and see where we went wrong.”

The Bootle boss did admit that his side were flat during the match, he added: “It did, I don’t think we won enough second-balls, we were pulling out of tackles, we weren’t winning our headers – something we’ve been good at in games, what we work on in training, they just weren’t doing.

“Too many sideways passes, was there many options on for them? I don’t know, we’ll look at it. 

“Really poor, I thought we were lucky to come in at half-time 0-0, we did have a go at them at half-time and say we have to be better,” he said on the manner that the goals went in.

“We had a chat about things, taking too many touches in midfield, start giving them a chance to nick it off you and low and behold a minute, two minutes into the second-half we’re caught on the ball, it’s a good strike and we’re 1-0 down.

“It’s things we spoke about and I said to them in there, I thought we were poor from one to 11, we didn’t get going. Maybe one or two can come out with a bit of credit but I thought we were poor all afternoon.”

MATCH REPORT: Bootle 0-3 Dunston UTS: Bucks brushed aside as Dunston enjoy FA Trophy progression

Without going into detail on what his message was after the game, McNulty expressed his intent to isolate the performance as a one-off.

He continued: “I’m not telling you what I said, it’s been a tough few weeks, it’s just disappointing you come in, a new manager, get a reaction but I don’t want it to die off and we start playing well for two or three games then we come off it and lose a game 3-0.

“It’s not going to be like that, I’ve got really high standards, I told them that from day one and I don’t expect anything less.”

They have a quick turnaround for their next match as they travel to Runcorn Linnets on Tuesday.

Dave Wild’s side made it three wins in three after they rose to see off North Shields in the FA Trophy on Saturday. The Bucks boss is keen for a reaction.

“We do yeah [need a reaction], it’s going to be another tough game, if we play anything like that it’ll be five or six,” he said. “We’ll have a look at the video over the weekend, we’ll have a chat me and Carl – hopefully we’ll put in a better performance on Tuesday. 

“There’s no easy game at this level, we’ll have to be on the front foot, we’ll have to perform better than what we did today. We’ll give them a game, we’ll make sure we do, we’ll be a lot better Tuesday.”

McNulty was reserved when discussing any potential additions to the side, he concluded: “You’re always looking but unless they’re going to come in and improve the squad – there’s no point just signing anyone. We will always be looking to improve the squad, if it pops up then it pops up and if it’s right, we’ll do it.”

[Featured Image: Will Griffiths]

For enquiries: info@off-the-park.co.uk@OffThePark_