Skelmersdale United positive despite narrow defeat

Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally says there is plenty of "positives" despite falling to defeat against Longridge Town in their season opener

Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally says there is plenty of “positives” despite falling to defeat against Longridge Town in their season opener.

Their campaign got underway on Tuesday, despite the league starting on Saturday, something McNally believes played into the visitors hands.

Danny Mitchley fired Skem in front inside 20 minutes but the visitors restored parity with nine minutes left of the first half.

Shortly after the break, Longridge were ahead after pouncing on a defensive error to fire the travelling Lancashire side to three points.

Despite the defeat, the Skem manager saw positives in his sides performance.

He told Off The Park: “They had a little more organisation because they played on Saturday but I think they just wanted it more. They played a different way to how they normally do, they were more physical.

“Loads of positives, we could’ve been three or 4-0 up within the first 25 minutes maybe even half an hour.

“We were attacking and on the front foot, there were some good individual performances but as I say they were more organised on the night and a bit more physical.

“We’re up and running, alright we lost, there were some individual performances which were good and there’s still lads to come in.

“People are coming to us with a bit more respect.”

Their pre-season was stop-start after a number of players and staff, including McNally, falling foul of the virus.

Although not entirely to blame on his sides performance, the Skem boss sought reassurance from the early season mishaps.

“No team is ever firing on full cylinders at the start of the season, you’re going to get individual errors, people are at different points fitness-wise and playing-wise,” he continued.

“We lost 10 days in our pre-season due to COVID, I suffered with it myself and had it for about 10 days, so that disrupted the plan.

“A couple of players suffered, I had a few missing last night [Tuesday] because they had to isolate, the individual errors will rectify themselves over time when people are playing regularly, that’ll just go eventually – I hope.”

The defeat to Longridge has done no damage to McNally’s expectation and remains more determined as a result.

He said: “[The defeat] hasn’t changed any of my plans, if anything it’s made me more determined in the group that we’ll get it right.

“We’ve evolved as a team, we’ve gone from a very counter-attacking now we’re a possession-based team.

“Obviously we’ll concede goals but we’ll score goals as well it just never happened last night [Tuesday], the same team played against Prescot Cables and everything we hit went in, we were flying.

“We had the same opportunities [against Longridge] they just never went in, that’s the fine line you cross in football.

“If the lads continue believing in what we’re doing and keep progressing, over time our methods will be proven right.”

(Featured image via Paul Moran)