‘We will get better’ – Bootle manager Steve McNulty lauds his side after City of Liverpool comeback

Bootle manager Steve McNulty

Bootle manager Steve McNulty hailed his side’s character as they came from behind to beat rivals City of Liverpool.

John McGrath fired the Purps in front on the stroke of half-time but second half goals from Ben Hodkinson and Connor Millington handed the new Bucks boss a second successive win since taking over from Brian Richardson.

The win follows their hard-fought triumph away at Trafford on Saturday. Fast forward to Monday and Bootle had a different task on their hands in McNulty’s home debut in the dugout of his hometown club.

Despite the win, there were elements of the performance which the 38-year-old wasn’t impressed with but he was pleased that his side managed to turn around their fortunes.

He told Off The Park: “We did, yeah, first-half I thought we were sloppy, we weren’t our normal selves.

“I just don’t think we were playing with confidence, we weren’t looking to play the ball forward and there wasn’t enough options on the ball.

“So we went in at half-time and told them to believe in themselves more, we knew if we got one we’d be right in it and we could go on and win the game and luckily we did.”

Despite the slow start, McNulty was happy with the response and character that his side showed but noted a number of improvements.

“There’s ability in the dressing room, we’re just coming in trying to pick them up, they’ve all got ability it’s just about giving them a lift and it looks they’ve got one,” he added.

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“Hopefully, we can take it forward, we’re just starting off, we will get better, we’ll have time to work them before the next game, it’ll be a lot better and we will see improvements.

“There’s a lot of a character there, it’s not easy and it’s the same for both teams playing two games in three games, it’s tough on the body, part-time, not getting in and getting yourself looked after like ice baths and stuff like that.

“They showed massive character today, some good ability in there as well; Ben took his goal great, massive character, they all worked hard to a man.”

Last season’s top goalscorer, Hodkinson, got off the mark with a pearler after a difficult start to the campaign. The Bucks boss was pleased that his advice to the attacker has began to bear fruit.

He continued: “Two great goals, Ben’s got that in his locker, I’ve said to him in there he’s got to tidy his game up a little bit more in general play but he can come off the line and do more stuff like that, it was a great goal.”

Despite only being 180 minutes into his managerial career, McNulty has his sights set of bigger and better things with the Vesty Road outfit following his first two games. But didn’t want to give too much away.

He joked: “I’ve learned a lot, I won’t be giving you too much, but I’ve learned a lot.

“There’s ability in the dressing room, I’m just here to drive the ship, I want what’s best for the players, what’s best for the club so I’ll be there trying to help them on their way and hopefully push Bootle up the league.”

Off The Park understands former Witton Albion manager and FA Vase-winner Carl Macauley will join the former Luton Town defender as his number two, this week.

There have been two new additions for McNulty in the form of Kieran Holsgrove, who’s move was in place prior to his appointment, and defender Lewis Sinnott. But he is targeting more as he embarks on his first full week in charge.

He concluded: “We’ve come in and there’s lots of ability but naturally, we are going to try strengthen the squad and we will strengthen the squad.

“I’ve had a look at the lads of the last two games and we haven’t got a game so we’ll get the lads in, have a behind-closed-doors game, look at the lads we haven’t seen and then take it from there.

“It’s natural, new manager, new staff so we are going to strengthen and we will.”

[Featured Image: Will Griffiths]

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