Bootle manager Steve McNulty says his side need to find a level of consistency ahead of their clash with Runcorn Linnets.
The playoff chases visit the Bucks on Saturday looking to strengthen their position in the playoffs. For the hosts, they’re looking to turn a corner and end the season with momentum.
They were forced to settle for a point against Kidsgrove Athletic after Tom Peterson’s opener was cancelled out after they were reduced to 10 men when Eddie Clarke was shown a second yellow card.
Linnets sit inside the playoffs going into the latter stages of the campaign and Bootle have been impressive against teams in and around their rivals. Both trips to Macclesfield and Workington ended in wins for the Bucks.
Recent performances have been positive and when Wild’s side visit this weekend, McNulty hopes for “another good performance”.
“They had a little bit of a blip in December and January but they seem to have turned it around. It’s going to be a tough game, they’re up there in the playoffs but one we’re looking forward to,” he said speaking to Off The Park.
“The last few games we’ve done well, we’re unfortunate to not have four points more on the board than what we have, we’re getting in good scoring opportunities and in great positions but maybe we’re lacking the final pass or we’re not clinical enough in front of goal and giving ourselves a foothold in the games.
“But it’s good we’re getting in these positions, I’d be more worried if we wasn’t getting in these positions but the last two we’ve done well, should’ve won both but we haven’t. We’ve got to get on with that, look forward to Saturday and put on another good performance.
“I’m always positive, for me it’s when [the draws turn into wins], we’ve probably drawn too many games this season but it’s probably better than a loss. If we want to push up the league, you’ve got to win them but it is what it at the minute.
“We’ll keep working hard, working hard on the training ground, keep working with the lads getting in these positions and get them to be more ruthless in front of goal.”
In their last meeting, they played out a 2-2 draw in a game that the Bootle boss has been open and honest about – admitting on the night, he got his tactics wrong.
A lot has changed since then and despite the 10-point gap separating the two sides, the Bucks are confident ahead of Saturday.
“The squad has changed quite a bit, few lads have left, got a few in, we drew at their place,” McNulty added.
“I got the formation wrong in the first-half, we had to change it for the second-half but it just didn’t work, a lot has changed, our mentality has changed and we’re under no illusions that it’s going to be a tough game, they’re a good side pushing for the playoffs but it’s a game we’ll go into full of confidence.
“We’re looking forward to it and hopefully, we can put a good performance in at home and get three points.
“We always try go into games full of confidence, we try to pick the lads up when we’ve had a bad result and we seem to do well against teams at the top, we hold our own.
“That’s testament to the lads, I keep saying to them on our day we’re more than a match for anyone in this division, we’ve shown that all season, it’s just finding that level of consistency.
“I think if we do that, we can push up the table, looking into next season, I think we need to find that level of consistency a lot more – you can’t go and beat Workington then you get beat at home to Newcastle Town, no disrespect to Newcastle Town, but you throw all your hard work away against Workington.
“It’s just a matter of finding that level of consistency and enjoy playing at home, in any league or division, if you want to be up there challenging, you’ve got to win your home games and we seem to be winning more away from home.”