City of Liverpool manager Michael Ellison has labelled the Purps meeting with Macclesfield as “huge” following their losing start to the season.
Defeats to Glossop North End and Skelmersdale United make up the beginning to the Northern Premier League West campaign for Ellison’s side.
They endured two FA Cup clashes with fellow step eight side, Ramsbottom United. On Wednesday, James Steele’s hat-trick helped City of Liverpool to a dramatic win over the Rams as he booked their place in the next round with a stoppage-time header.
Macclesfield have been widely tipped to secure back-to-back promotions following their title-winning season in the North West Counties last season. Following their move into the Northern Premier League, they haven’t slowed down on their recruitment bringing in a number of huge names.
They are unbeaten in two and have scored six goals and conceded once during that time.
Ellison isn’t under any illusions of their quality but hopes his side can shore up defensively after conceding three in their replay in midweek as he labelled the clash as “huge”.
He told Off The Park: “Huge. We need to get points on the board, two defeats in the league so it hasn’t been a great start.
“I think the performance against Skem was good and for parts tonight we played well. We certainly need to tighten things up but we’ll be confident, they’ll come here, we’ll try and play – I’m sure they will too – but they’re in really, really good form, got goals in them it’ll be a tough task and one we’re looking forward to.”
The visit of Danny Whittaker’s side sparks a massive weekend of football for City of Liverpool. As well as the arrivals of the reigning North West Counties champions, they face rivals Bootle on Monday.
Ellison was in agreement that the games don’t need to talking up.
He added: “No, Macclesfield who are high-flying, top of the table, you want to get something there. Obviously, the derby against Bootle on Monday, we’ll have to shuffle the pack especially after tonight.
“They (Ramsbottom) made us work hard on what we had to, we could’ve been smarter in our play so the lads have only got themselves to blame for that. We’ll have to shuffle the pack on Saturday and shuffle it on Monday to play two games in three days.”
Saturday’s visitors have been widely tipped to secure promotion to the Premier Division this season with a lot made about the quality that they possess.
But the City of Liverpool boss is focusing on his side and how they will look to play.
He continued: “We have to try and play our style of football, the onus is on us to take the game to them and we’ll do that.
“We’ll keep trying to play the right way which is playing out, playing through the lines. The pleasing thing today is that we created a lot more opportunities, a lot more situations, Steeley’s got off the mark and got himself a hat-trick so he should be confident.
“That’s the message, go out and play, we need to tighten up at the back, the three goals from our point of view (against Ramsbottom) are poor and it’s something we need to improve on and switch on on.”