Skelmersdale United manager Richard Brodie has discussed his side’s chances against rivals Bootle this weekend.
A point separates the two sides after 16 Northern Premier League matches. The Bucks’ 3-0 win over Glossop North End helped them leapfrog Skem in the process after their winless run.
Skelmersdale United have suffered three straight narrow defeats after Macclesfield, Witton Albion and Workington all edged out the Blues by a single goal.
Speaking to Off The Park, Brodie said: “I’ve said it to the lads and I’ve said it to you, it’s a six-pointer, we’re in the same boat, local derby but you only get three points for the win – there’s no more prizes.
“We have to go and apply ourselves like we have against the so-called top sides and there’s every possibility we can get something out of the game – they’ll be thinking the same. Ste McNulty an old team mate of mine, hopefully there’s a big crowd there because there’s a lot of interest in the game because we’ll prepare how we have been, we’re crying out for a number nine and I haven’t hid that.
“We need a focal point and at the minute, we’re trying five days a week to find it, we’ll grin and bear it, we won’t feel sorry for ourselves and hopefully get a result.
“They were struggling at one point, when we won our three [games], I think they lost three. That’s the inconsistency of the league, they’ve picked up a couple of good draws and a great win.
“I know Ste well, I know how he’ll set his team up, well organised, disciplined, there’s some experience in there but we’re fully confident of going there and getting something, it’ll be tough.
“At this level, nothing is handed to you, we can talk tactics and whatever but the fundamentals of football don’t change, you have to go and earn the right to win the game, you have to work hard because if you don’t work hard to win the football you won’t get it.
“When we’ve got it, you’ve got to keep it better, I believe in our lads, there’s a few ex-Bootle lads in our squad who will have a point to prove, there’s a lot of different things that will make it a different spectacle, hopefully we come out on top.”
In their defeat to Workington, David Symington scored inside 10 seconds after the visitors stunned Brodie’s side from kick-off.
Despite slipping to a two-goal deficit, the Skem boss was pleased with the response. He said: “It’s not the ideal way to start, it’s a mistake – it happens – but after nine seconds against a team win the playoffs it’s always going to be an uphill struggle from then.
“But we got better as the game wore on, we had a couple of chances and I’d have settled to go in 1-0 at half-time.
“I can’t keep saying how poor the officials are, the goal – Sam Ashton’s behind the line but the ball isn’t and how he can see from where he is the linesman, I’ll never know in a million years.
“He’s put his flag up for offside for a start then gives a goal then you go in 2-0 down and it changes the perspective of the game.
“The sending off, it’s handbag at best and if you’re going to send two off, you may as well send 22 off because there was nothing in it but going down to 10 suited us better because Rueben Jerome was there biggest threat.
“There was only one team in it in the end, anyone watching it will tell you, our lads showed desire, balls, commitment, effort, attitude and at times some great bits of quality, it’s a great goal – Taylor Prescott deserved a goal, got a tap in and fully deserved it after his performances in recent weeks.
“A couple of other chances, Matty Hamilton has had to ricochet over the bar, there’s blocks, an old experienced side who have held on for a draw and that’s the fine margin we’re losing games by at the minute.”