City of Liverpool manager Paul McNally has expressed his disappointment after defeat to Prescot Cables but has hopes of an upset against Macclesfield.
The Purps travel to the Silkmen in their first game since Neil Danns’ side were crowned champions of the Northern Premier League West. They go into the trip to Cheshire on the back of their 1-0 defeat to Steven Daley’s Prescot Cables where Francis Smith’s first-half strike proved to be the difference.
The solitary goal from the Pesky Bulls ended their impressive run which saw a win over promotion-chasing Workington and a comprehensive triumph away at Newcastle Town.
But their derby clash with the Bulls saw little opportunities but McNally has no complaints over the outcome.
He told Off The Park: “It was a scrappy game, it wasn’t a very good game for the spectator. I don’t think the first-half we got going, I think they were the better team for the first half-an-hour at least, they came at us, were on top, they were aggressive and they played like it was a real derby.
“They scored a fantastic goal that wins any match and from that point, I thought we dominated it without actually hurting them so once that goal goes in, they protected their lead and that was it. There was only ever going to be one goal in it and it was that has won it for them so I can have no complaints.
“We performed so well previously, their back five was outstanding and the midfield two in front did well in the first-half then for us, we just had the odd individual playing well, not playing well and there was three or four lads just not at it.
“That’s through no fault of their own, it was a tough game to get into. I’ve got to give credit to the opposition, it was more a case of them stopping us from playing.
“They were worth the win I’d say but the margins are so fine in this league it could’ve been 0-0 or so easily been 1-1. There was nothing in it but I’m disappointed we were lacklustre to what we have been in the last two or three games.
“It’s a bump in the road, I’m not too downhearted, it wasn’t to be on the day,” said the Purps boss on the defeat. “The lads were as disappointed as I was and they know that it was an opportunity to push on again. It was the third game I’d named an unnamed team and I haven’t had that luxury, it shows the consistency levels we’re striving for.
“There’s no tougher place than there, they’ve just won the league, hopefully we can get something from it – it could be anything. They’re worthy champions at the minute, they fully deserve, we’re going there to see what we can get from it,” he said going into the trip to the Leasing.com Stadium.
A lot has changed since McNally last locked horns with Macclesfield. The last time they met it was in the Macron Cup during their battle in the North West Counties Premier Division.
At the time, the City of Liverpool boss was in charge of Skelmersdale United and ran out 3-2 winners but before then, the two clubs were locked in on a fierce battle for promotion – with the Silkmen claiming the title as Skem won promotion via an interstep playoff.
McNally continued: “The last time I was there, it was a cup game which we won 3-2 and the time before that, it was the big humdinger where we got beat 3-1. Different circumstances but still the type of atmosphere, it’ll be a different level of team which has gone up a notch or two but we’re not going there scared.
“They’re league champions and we’re confident we can cause an upset but every team in the league will have said the same thing when they’ve got there. We’ve got four games left, we’re trying to finish as positively as possible.
“I’ve been there before and we’ve gone toe-to-toe with them, even when we got beat last year, our mentality was to attack. For the best part we was and the cup game, we were the same.
“We’re not going there to sit there and see if we can get a win, we’re going to attack, we will be going there to take the game to them. If we can’t go toe-to-toe, we’ll see where we end up and do what we can, we know there’s areas of the pitch where they can hurt us but there’s areas we can hurt them. It should be a very good game.”