New City of Liverpool boss Paul McNally has expressed his delight at the appointment and insists the Purps position is a false position, as he prepares for his first game in charge.
The switch brought a four-year stint with the west Lancashire outfit to an end for the former Cammell Laird and Litherland REMYCA manager.
During that time, he led Skem to a remarkable FA Cup run which saw them exit in the First Round against Harrogate Town. Last season, he went toe-to-toe with non-league giants Macclesfield in the North West Counties but was forced to settle for a second-place finish.
Skelmersdale United went on to win automatic promotion with a win over Cinderford Town with a quadruple from Mikey Howard the highlight of the win.
Nathan Burke and Glenn Rule took caretaker charge of the Purps in their FA Cup clash with Dunston UTS but were beaten 3-0.
McNally expressed his delight at being appointed as the new manager for City of Liverpool after he was asked how it felt just under 72 hours on from the announcement.
He told Off The Park: “[It feels] Great. Delighted to come here, I think it’s a big club, a club on the up. The league position tells a different story but it’ll only be a matter of time before it’s onward and upwards.
“I’m delighted to step into this big club and represent it.”
McNally was in the opposite dugout when his Skem side met City of Liverpool in August. Burke opened the scoring for the Purps but the Blues fought back to win 2-1.
He leaves the Community Stadium with Skem in fourth whereas City of Liverpool sit at the foot of the Northern Premier League West table.
But the position is something that the new manager feels isn’t a true reflection of the quality he inherited.
“It is a false position because I’m going to be totally truthful, I’ve left a fantastic team at that club with some fantastic players who will get in any team around the league’s but I’m inheriting a good side, a top side,” he added.
“Make no bones about it just because they’re at the bottom of the league, this is a top side. The previous manager, Michael Ellison, I take my hat off to him, he’s assembled a fantastic team.
“Different results and we might not be talking about this job, we have to move forward, we’ve got this team and we have to look at where we can improve it, there’s fantastic potential here.
“If we can implement what we want [to do] we can move forward as there’s so much potential here.”
In, what proved to be, his final match as Skelmersdale United manager, McNally’s side secured the win thanks to a last-minute winner from Jordan Southworth against Prescot Cables.
Describing the “whirlwind” 24 hours, he says the move to City of Liverpool was one of his hardest decisions but offered his gratitude to his former club.
He continued: “Very tough [decision], been a whirlwind 24 hours, 48 hours at most. One minute I’m preparing to face Runcorn Linnets, got my squad, scout reports, the next minute I’m preparing to face Colne with a squad I’m yet to meet – I’m going to meet them in the next hour [on Monday].
“That’s how quickly things change in football and how things move. It was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in management, hand on heart, hopefully it’s the best decision I’ve ever made because that’s where I think this club can take me – to the next level.
“I’m looking to move forward and this club we can move together on the journey. I would like to say, I take my hat off to Skem, they’ve backed me all the way and I think I delivered for them and raised their profile to another level.
“I’ve left them in the best position and the next man that’s taken it on, I hope he can keep taking them forward.”
For the Purps, their attention now turns to their trip to Colne on Tuesday. They are looking to pick up their first points of the season after failing to win or draw in their opening four.
On Monday, he met the squad for the first time as their manager on the eve of their trip to Lancashire. But ahead of his debut in the dugout, McNally made a number of demands from his side.
“I’m expecting a bit of heart, passion, desire from when they pull that City of Liverpool shirt on. I’m expecting them to fight for the cause, run for the cause and come off that pitch giving 100 per cent,” he said.
“I don’t mind getting beat and the fans won’t mind it as long as we’re showing that endeavour, effort, tempo and desire that I demand.
“Top teams do get beat but I want us to be a competitive game for every teams in this league and on our day, we will be one of the top teams that’s how I expect us to play.
“The systems will vary, I like my teams to be flexible and adaptive. Overall, we’re looking to implement an attacking style of play.
“I couldn’t have asked for a tougher away game, a very historic ground, they’re good team. In a similar position to us so it becomes a little bit of a six-pointer already, from joining now, we’re going into a bit of six pointer early doors.
“I’ll set my team up, got my information on Colne, they’ll have their’s on our team, we’ll set up and we’ll go there to compete and if we come away with points it sets us up well nicely for Friday. We’re looking to attack every game, home or away.”