‘We’ve got the keep believing’ – Michael Ellison issues rallying demand as Widnes travel to Bootle

Widnes FC Featured Image Off The Park

Widnes manager Michael Ellison says his side has to continue believing in themselves ahead of their derby clash with Bootle.

They remain at the foot of the table after James Berry inspired Macclesfield to victory last time out.

His hat-trick saw him move to the top of the Northern Premier League West goalscorers chart.

The Widnes boss couldn’t hide his admiration for the Silkmen match-winner, he told Off The Park: “It’s clear to see James Berry has made the difference between the two sides, Macclesfield are a very good team, there’s no getting away from that.

“But we set up in the first-half, we were disciplined, organised, limited them to very little opportunities, had a couple of chances and probably could’ve went in at the break at least a goal up.

“We had two really good chances and didn’t take them, that’s the difference, we’ve had to make an enforced change and put Ste Rigby in his unnatural position, Berry’s capitalised on that.

“We can take positives, certainly can but disappointed with the other goals because they’ve not cut us open, they’ve hit us quick but the finishing off Berry you’ve got to stand up and applaud.

“The first goal was always going to be key, you’ve got something to hold onto and they got it and it deflated us,” he added. “We were in the game, the disappointment is when you concede and concede the others in quick succession.

“That’s the frustrating thing because we’ve had possession in the previous two goals, give it away sloppily, you probably give it away to most teams in the league and you’re not going to concede but they’re just devastating when they get into those positions.

“If you catch Berry on a good day he will ruin you and he shouldn’t be at this level if you ask me. It was like chalk and cheese both halves, we’re taking positives but if you give them any sort of half chances they take it.”

Their attention now turns to another derby clash in the form of Steve McNulty’s Bootle.

A lot has changed since the two sides played out a 2-2 draw earlier in the season with both clubs changing their respective managers.

They’re both in differing positions as Widnes look to move off the foot of the table, whilst the Bucks look to turn the heat up in the playoff race.

Ellison said: “Like every single week, it’s a tough game. A lot of the players know each other, it’s a derby, it’s going to be competitive, they’re really physical, it was a close fought game against City of Liverpool but they’re getting results.

“We know they’ve got goals in them but we’re going there, it’s a game we think we can get something out of.

“I know we’re bottom of the league and in a tough position but we think we’ve got plenty of time to turn things around and we’ll be trying to do that on Saturday.

“We’re under no illusions how tough it’ll be, it’s a tough place to go, Ste [McNulty] has got them organised, they’re in good form. We’re under no illusions and we’ll be going there confident.”

It’s been a mixed season for derbies, particularly under Ellison. They came close to earning bragging rights against Runcorn Linnets only to concede at the death.

While at the start of their tenure, they suffered a sobering defeat to City of Liverpool. Ellison notes that they’ve evolved since the ill-fated night at Vesty Road and hopes his side can begin to turn positive showings into positive outcomes

“The City of Liverpool game was a low point we’d not long been in charge,” he continued. “We’re a different team now, different mentality, the Runcorn Linnets performance we can take confidence from that but there’s been other games against top sides where we’ve competed.

“Workington away and what it’s about it turning those performances and being on the right end of a result.

“If we beat Workington, Runcorn and Clitheroe nobody could’ve denied us those results but the reality of it is we haven’t.

“We have to start turning those performances against those sides into points, it is fine margins, we’ve got to keep believing in what we’re doing, our luck has to change.

“We’re under no illusions, we’ll train hard, got a gameplan, we’ll try and execute it and get some points on the hard.”