Newly appointed Bootle manager Steve McNulty has expressed his excitement as he takes his first steps in football management following the sacking of Brian Richardson.
The former Prescot Cables boss was relieved of his duties in the aftermath of their FA Cup exit to Congleton Town after just four games of the new season.
McNulty was announced as the new man in charge at the Berry Street Garage Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The 38-year-old is no stranger to the game having enjoyed an illustrious professional career which included stints at Tranmere Rovers, Fleetwood Town, Luton Town and Barrow – to name a few – where he won promotion with all four clubs.
On Thursday, he oversaw training but opted to observe the session as U21s boss David Jones took control. He will be in the dugout for Bootle’s trip to Trafford on Saturday, alongside Jones, before their derby clash with City of Liverpool.
McNulty admitted he feels lucky to have been appointed as their new manager and is looking forward to the challenge.
He told Off The Park: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do to be honest with you, towards the end of my playing career it was something I always wanted to do.
“Football is all I’ve known my whole life, only job I’ve ever had really so, it was something I always wanted to do, something I was always interested in and coming towards the end of my career it was at the forefront of my mind.
“Now, I’ve been lucky enough to get this opportunity, went into Chester with Ste Watson as his assistant – I’m looking forward to it. When I went into Chester, I got the experience there and felt it was the right time to try and have a go myself, the job come up and decided to give with me.”
The dismissal of Richardson brought mixed responses from fans and outsiders-alike following the difficult start to the Northern Premier League West season.
But what the appointment of McNulty did do is send positive shockwaves around the club after making the statement appointment. The fans, in particular, were delighted about the decision to appoint the Bootle-born former defender.
After he was asked whether the fans appreciation prior to a ball being kicked was the first hurdle jumped, he joked: “See if they’re saying it after a few games, eh?
“It’s exciting times,” he continued. “I grew up in Bootle it’s my hometown club, I come back when I can comeback, I’ve watched a few games here plenty of times. It is great to be here and hopefully, we can be successful together.”
Thursday was the first encounter for the new manager with his new squad and he offered an insight into how he wants the players to act as well as how they will look to set up.
He said: “I just wanted to put smiles back on their faces, I want them to play with confidence, it’s tough, part-time, they’ve been working all day the last thing you want to do is come and not enjoy the sessions. We want it to be enjoyable but at the same time we want them to work and it’s going to be serious.
“It looked like they enjoyed, it was stuff they said they haven’t done for a while but that’s the way we want to train, the way we want to play, so we’ll just keep looking at it.
“We want to play forward, we won’t be lumping but games change, it’s different teams, different opposition but we won’t be looking to lump it forward we’ll be looking to play through thirds, get it into the front man, get plenty of men up there fast pace, fast tempo.
“It just depends on what state the game is in, influence it and use what we’ve got to our best.
“It’s a blank canvas, I said it before training, I know a couple of them, I haven’t seen many of them play. It is a blank canvas, it doesn’t matter what happened with the old manager, it’s clean slate.
“I’ll be taking it on first impressions, I’ve had loads of phone calls people giving me their opinion but at the end of the day, my opinion matters, I do listen to people.
“But I’ll be there, I’ll make my own mind up, make my own decisions it’ll be my head on the chopping board, live and die by your own decisions.”
Ahead of the Bank Holiday double-header, he added: “Games are coming thick and fast but that’s what you want as a player. We’ll take one game as a time, we’ll prepare for Trafford on Saturday – see how that goes. Then prepare for the game on Monday but we don’t want to look too far ahead.”
McNulty called for fans to get behind the team as they look for their first win of the season this weekend. He sent a message to the fans: “Just get behind the team, we’re going to try and bring some good times back.
“We’re hopefully going to be pushing towards the top end of the table and we just want to enjoy it. We want to play a style of football that they will enjoy watching so just get behind the team.”