City of Liverpool manager Paul McNally has his hopes on following up their impressive win over Runcorn Linnets against Bootle.
Kevin Ellison and John McGrath fired the Purps to Boxing Day delight as they inflicted a rare home defeat for the Linnets.
The win was the second in as many games for McNally’s side but over three weeks separated the two after they endured an enforced break following postponements.
“It was a deserved win and a good win, I think it’s the first time they’ve been beaten in 18 months so it was a well-organised, well-drilled victory which was much needed,” the City of Liverpool manager told Off The Park. “It’s just three points at the end of the day, I wish it could’ve been more but it’s not, it was good the fact we’ve got points away from home against a team that’s going to be challenging at the end of the season.
“The defensive resilience across the team, they were organised, switched on, ready to work hard and they all done that,” McNally added on what impressed him most about the win.
“It was a scruffy win but if you were in the professional ranks you’d say it was a European performance. Confidence is good, the layoff I don’t think it helped us, the first 35 to 40 minutes of the game we were a little bit rusty, organised, but rusty on the ball and once we started getting our foot into it then we started playing and controlling a bit of the game.
“Confidence is high but we’re still taking it game by game, step by step, we haven’t done the job yet, we’ve got a long way to go, it’s a good marker.”
The reverse fixture between the two sides saw Bootle run out winners and ultimately end Michael Ellison’s time in charge of City of Liverpool.
A win for either side could have an impact on the playoff race or the battle to beat the drop and both clubs will be looking to get 2023 off to a good start.
The Purps boss is expecting a good game, he said: “It’s going to be a good game, two good teams going at it.
“There’s no animosity from both sides, it’ll be a typical derby game and similar to what I said about the Runcorn Linnets game form goes out the window but it should be a good game from both sides, both we’re both relishing I anticipate.
“I’ve been involved with derby games before, this is a much bigger than both I think this is the biggest derby around the local scene. Anticipating it but I’ve been involved in bigger games across my career but it’s one we’re looking forward to, we’re relishing and I think Bootle will be feeling the same so I’m expecting a big old ding dong.
“It’s important, we’re at home and we want to make a statement but it’s also Bootle’s home so that’s not going to hold any advantage on the day. They’ll be wanting the three points as much as us but we’ll be looking to send a statement out as well, if we carry on and continue doing the jobs we’ve been doing then we can do well on the day.”