City of Liverpool manager Paul McNally has taken positives from their FA Trophy clash with Sheffield FC despite exiting on penalties.
The Purps were beaten 4-2 on penalties on Tuesday as McNally waits for his first win since taking over, a second straight defeat after their defeat to Colne last week.
But for the new City of Liverpool manager, he felt if they had the rub of the green, it could’ve been a different story.
He told Off The Park: “For 10 minutes they were on top, for 80 minutes or 85 minutes, we played really well.
“As close to a top performance as you could’ve wanted without getting a win or scoring but everything else was quality from them. It was a really good performance we’re just talking about a defeat.”
It was a similar story for the Purps during their midweek outing as they failed to find the back of the net, something they struggled rectify under McNally’s predecessor, Michael Ellison.
That was the most frustrating aspect of the former Skelmersdale United manager’s second match. He added: “That’s the one, not finding the back of the net but everything else from keeping a clean sheet, working hard, retaining the ball, moving the ball, Sheffield couldn’t get near us and at times we were camped in their half.
“As close to a really top performance, if we’d have got a win then you’d of been saying how well we done, although we got beaten on penalties you’ve still got to take positives from it and move forward. If we can build on that then we’ll be moving forward quickly.
“We’re trying to get our methods into the team, I’m starting to see fruits of it but we’re still a million miles away from where I want to be but it’s positive,” he continued, discussing whether he is beginning to see a change since taking over. “The lads have all responded, all bought into what we want and that’s good.
“We can only get stronger in the coming weeks and months ahead so that’s the positive aspect, I’m hoping this time next month we’ll be saying it looks like one our sides, they’re starting to get there but it’ll take a few more weeks. And maybe one or two implemented into how we want to play but we’ll get there.”
Last week and this week saw the additions of goalkeeper Graeme McCall and Danny Mitchley – who followed his former manager.
For McNally, he sees the additions as potential difference-makers and insists their arrivals create a greater competition for places.
“Two different ends of the pitch, both two top experienced players, hoping they can hit the ground running for us.
“Ryan Hamer played [against Sheffield] and give an excellent performance, competition for places is great, we need it across the park.
“You know the quality of the players you get it when you bring in the likes of Podge [Graeme McCall] and Danny Mitchley, experienced, top quality players who belong at this level, know this level inside out, they’ll win you games.
“Everybody is there on equal merit last season and everyone’s had a clean slate, I’ve gave opportunities to players, I’ve said to take it and grasp it because there might not be anymore activities, they may only get one or two before we move on.
“Competition for places is great and I’m not saying they didn’t have it but it brings fresh faces in and gives us fresh impetus to bring us forward.
“The lads I’ve brought in are team players and buy into what we want to do. They’re all happy at the minute, I’m not going to keep everyone happy longer term but they’re buying into our methods and that’s all we ask for.”