New Prescot Cables manager Steve Daley says he is looking forward to the visit of Colne after a difficult start to life at the Joseph Russell Stadium.
The former Page Celtic boss succeeded Kevin Lynch after he stepped down. Daley, who was part of the backroom staff, stepped up with Peter Cumiskey remaining in his role as well as the additions of Anthony Sullivan, Lee Dowding and goalkeeper coach Ryan McMahon.
His first week in the Cables hotseat saw him navigate through difficult waters as he was forced to prepare for a clash against rivals Widnes a day into his tenure. Adding to the preparations, he was thrown problems in the form of injuries as Jack Goodwin and James Edgar were unavailable before Tom Dean was forced to pull out in the warm-up.
They suffered a last-minute defeat to the Whites. They made additions in the form of Anthony Donaldson and Robert Murphy ahead of the visit of Leek Town, however the promotion hopefuls aided their aspirations with an emphatic 4-1 win.
“It was difficult when we first took over, it didn’t give us much time to prepare,” Daley explained speaking to Off The Park. “We brought in a couple of players and getting the lads on the training ground, they’re in a good mood, looking forward to Saturday.
“I was appointed on Monday, we had Widnes on Tuesday, struggled if I’m being honest we had a couple of injuries; Jack Goodwin was out, we lost James Edgar on Saturday then Tom Dean in the warm-up, preparation wasn’t great,” he continued, discussing a whirlwind opening 48 hours. “We didn’t put in a great performance and to lose in the last minute wasn’t great.
“Going into the Leek game we knew it was going to be really difficult but we had a great session on the Thursday, the lads are in a really good mood but not a full strength. I feel we still enough, we signed Anthony Donaldson which I was happy about, Leek are second in the league, they’re a good strong team.
“We started bright but then we gifted them three goals in 10 to 15 minutes, you can’t do that against a team like Leek. Second-half was better, got on the ball, we were brave but the game was gone by then so it was probably damage limitation with a view to try ease back into the game, if you get one you see where you can go.”
Since then, they’ve had three training sessions, including a full week of preparation as they host relegation battling, Colne. Cables aspirations still remain on the playoffs despite the tightness of the drop between the bottom half clubs.
“After a good week training this week, looking forward to Saturday, all the lads are in good spirits, they’re all eager to go and it feels like it’s just about to start. A bit of time on the training ground, the games come quite quick but we’re looking forward to it.
“With the first two games, losing the game in the last minute is always difficult and that can happen, Widnes are fighting for their lives, injuries going into that game, preparation wasn’t great. You lose a game of football 1-0, we didn’t really do anything like what I wanted us to do.
“Against Leek we were a little bit braver but they’re a very tough team, I do expect us to be a lot better going forward, we can work on some stuff what I want us to work on.
“I won’t change too much because we are a good footballing team anyway but going forward I do believe we’ll finish the season strong.
“Really looking forward to it, good training, the lads are in really good spirits, looking forward to getting the season back on track, we’ve dropped our standards slightly then injuries haven’t helped. I’m hoping we’ve got a couple back so I’m hoping for a strong performance and get back to a winning ways.”
With the business end of the season in full flow as the matches remaining tick close to being in single figures, Daley insists they aren’t resting on laurels, setting his sights on a strong finish to the campaign strong.
He said: “All the teams in this league, if you don’t go in motivated and let teams outwork you, you’re in trouble. This is a league where you have to be at it and I don’t see that any different against Colne.
“They’ve got extra motivation to come away from the relegation battle but we’ve got to get our season back on track so we’ve got enough motivation ourselves and the players are desperate to put a performance in and get the results.
“They’ve got a great opportunity and there’s no better way to do it in front of our fans at home. I’ve said it in a couple of interviews, these fans are fantastic, they get behind you and one thing they do, as long as you show them effort and give them everything, they’ll stick by you.
“We are in a little bit of a spell that’s not been great, the fans have been patient but I’m sure the lads will put a performance in for the fans and put a smile on their face going home on Saturday.”