‘We’ve got to hit the ground running’ – Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally explains Trafford FC importance

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Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally is looking to get off to a winning start in their return to the Northern Premier League when they host Trafford.

Skem return to the division after three years following their relegation to the North West Counties.

Their win over Cinderford in the playoff final secured their spot in the league, winning promotion alongside champions, Macclesfield.

They got off to a  winning start in the FA Cup when they beat Padiham 2-1. But for the Skelmersdale boss, the performance was one he’ll like to forget in a hurry.

Speaking on the performance last weekend, McNally told Off The Park: “Fits and starts, if that makes sense, played well in patches and did what we needed to do to get us across the line. Played out a little bit like we were in pre-season mode. 

“We didn’t really get going but when we did find a little bit of form, we went ahead then weave a silly penalty away then we were in a game again. 

“Credit to Padiham, you could tell they’ve played two games competitively and they were a little bit sharper at the start but towards the end, we started getting into it and we could see our touches coming in.

“It was too tight for my liking, we had chances and I think we limited them two fairly few chances but it was more the penalty came from our error, Baba Conteh slid in, he and all the lads are adamant he won the ball, even their players said he got the ball. 

“But he’s gone to ground and the referee’s at this level made that decision. We went with that and it knocked a little bit of stuffing out of us, made us a little bit wobbly. But we regrouped at half-time, it was too close for my liking – I wanted an easier day.”

Trafford will be in town on Saturday looking to get their league campaign off to a perfect start. They go into the clash in fine form after romping to victory against AFC Liverpool last weekend.

Despite the performance, McNally was pleased with the win nonetheless and is looking to ‘step it up’, he added: It’s a good starting point, to win without playing well, it shows that we’ve got something about us. 

“People would’ve expected us to win but it was always going to be a tough game, they’re no mugs and they come to upset. It worked to a point but then I’d say we had most of the ball, which sets us up against Trafford – who had a fantastic result (in the FA Cup). Hopefully, we can step up a gear or two.

“We’re looking to hit the ground running. We’ve got a tough month, we play Trafford, City of Liverpool – they’re going to be up there this season – the FA Cup, then Clitheroe, Hanley, Prescot (Cables). We’ve got a tough month, it’s imperative we try and get off to an okay start.”

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