‘They’re showing character’ – City of Liverpool manager Paul McNally happy with back-to-back wins as Purps eye Trafford double

James Edgar celebrates scoring for City of Liverpool

City of Liverpool manager Paul McNally was pleased with his side’s win over Trafford as they made it back-to-back wins.

It was consecutive 3-2 wins for the Purps after they overcame Hanley Town and the North by the same scoreline. The matches were almost identical as they romped to a three-goal lead before their opponents fired back.

As was the case for City of Liverpool in their return to Vesty Road. James Steele, captain Nathan Burke and James Edgar were all on the scoresheet as they moved onto six points.

They remain in the two automatic relegation spots but could move out of the danger zone should they complete the double over Trafford this weekend.

For McNally, at the moment the priority is picking up three points. He told Off The Park: “It was a win, it’s carried on a bit of momentum from the previous week so I’m not looking at results as in scoreline, I’m looking at points, we’re getting points that’s it.

“We went 3-0 up, the disappointing side for me is we’ve conceded two pretty late again, so that’s a little bit of a pattern we need to look at and stop but as I say, I couldn’t fault the lads for 70-odd minutes, I thought they done really well.”

After conceding twice in the latter stages for consecutive matches, the Purps boss has an idea of the reason behind the lapses but remains content with the opportunities created.

He added: “I think it’s more down to lapses in concentration because we’re 3-0 up, it’s an awkward position to be in because at 3-0, you think the game is done, the other team has nothing to lose so they start being a little bit more forceful.

“They start getting more on the ball, less vulnerable and more confident. We still had chances at 3-0 to go four, five, six again and things didn’t go our way so if we’d of got that other goal, we’d of killed them off.

“Fair play to Trafford, they got the ball down and played, scored two goals in 10 minutes, it was similar to the week before but similar as in we got the result and that’s all that matters.”

They have matched the number of league goals they had scored prior to McNally’s arrival in their previous two.

On the goalscoring front, he has noticed a difference. He said: “I’m happy that we’re scoring goals obviously, we’re a little bit of a team, we’re a little bit more attacking.

“There’s a bit more belief in the lads, we haven’t changed a lot in terms of how we’ve worked or nothing, we’ve been doing the same methods, maybe it’s sinking in more and the lads do believe we can go forward and score.

“It’s more down to a mentality shift and also, lads having the confidence with putting the ball in the net. Now we’ve got a little bit of confidence, every time we go forward it looks like we can score.

“I think the whole squad, even lads who have been on the bench or not come on, they’ve all bought into the methods.

“They’ve realised the low points of the 1874 game, they’ve all worked hard to rectify, they’re pushing in the right direction and I can’t fault them for effort and quality. It could be six goals and two clean sheets, that’s something we’ll iron out moving forward – I’d take a scruffy 1-0 win but they’re all the same points at the end of the day. 

“They’re definitely showing character, there was some big characters in there, I’ve brought a couple in as well; Kev Ellison, Danny Mitchley, Graeme McCall – he hasn’t been included because he’s injured but they’re still big characters. They’ll only improve us further down the line and the groups getting stronger mentally and physically.”

Ste Milne arrived this week, signing from Lower Breck. McNally has hopes for the FA Vase-winning attacker and insists he can further impact a confident squad.

He continued: “He’s not coming just to be a makeweight, he’s coming in to bolster our squad and further forward add goals and quality.

“It’s not just about goals, it’s what he can bring, he can stretch the game with his pace and his ability. It’s not a gamble, he’s a good player and he’s been very good at Lower Breck but possibly maybe needed a change of scenery as Breck and Ste would say.

“But coming to us, could be a great move for him and us, further forward hopefully he can get into our line-up and make the team even stronger.”

City of Liverpool travel to Greater Manchester on Saturday looking to make it three wins from as many matches.

McNally believes after their strong finish, this weekend’s opponents will be going into it confident but he remains hopeful of making three straight wins.

“Similar to what we’ve been doing, they know a little bit more about us, we know a little bit more about them,” he said. 

“They might be a little bit more confident because of how they’ve finished the game, that’s a good thing. From our point of view, we know we didn’t finish as well as we started so we won’t be going there thinking it’s an easy game – there never is any easy games in this league.

“We’re going there and see what we can bring, if we can bring three points home again that’ll be fantastic, we’re looking for a hat-trick of wins if we can.

“The pitch is a nice pitch, a wide pitch, they know how to play it, they had a good result in midweek – they beat Hyde United in their Senior Cup.

“They will be on a high from Tuesday night’s performance, they’ll of had another 90 minutes in the bag, I’ll be anticipating a very tough game, very equal game, two teams that like to play the right way and hopefully we come out with the three points, that’s all that matters for me at this minute.”

[Featured Image: City of Liverpool]

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