Captain unhappy with inconsistent form in campaign past
He might have been named in the PFA’s League 2 team of the year, but skipper Stephen McNulty is eyeing an improvement in his own form next season after the Town missed out on the Play-Offs.
The 31-year-old scooped a host of awards this time last year after the Hatters romped to the Conference title, but the centre-half admits his performances this year in the Football League haven’t been up to his usual high standards.
“I wasn’t happy with my form this season,” the captain told Hatters Player. “It’s been a bit inconsistent, a bit up and down. I’ve had a few good games, but last season I thought I’d reached a level of consistency and stayed at that but that’s not been the case this year.
“I won’t beat myself up over it but there was a time during that 10-game run where I was getting frustrated. I also got the ban and was out for four games and it took a while to get back and find my feet.
“But I’m experienced enough to know that you can’t play well every week and I’ll work hard to find the consistency I found last season, next season.”
It barely seems five minutes since the Town kicked-off at Carlisle on the opening day of the season last August.
And although the Hatters just fell short of a Play-Off place in their first season back in the Football League, McNulty thinks the Town are well equipped to challenge next term.
“It’s been a long and eventual season to say the least but I think if you take a look at it as a whole you can take a lot of positives from it.
“There’s a few negatives as well, but for our first season back we’ve done well, and we did well last year too. Obviously we are disappointed to not finish in at least a Play-Offs place – but these things happen and we’ll back better and stronger next season.
“There’s certainly nothing to be afraid of. We’ve played a lot of the top sides towards the end of the season and applied ourselves really well. We’ve never been battered or outplayed, we’ve held our own twice against Burton. We were probably the better team in both games against them but we lost and they’ve won the league. That’s gives us something to think about and learn from and hopefully we can do it next season.”
Last week the Hatters released the names of the seven players who will not have their contracts renewed for next season and a list of six who have been made available for transfer.
With the manager building for next season, McNulty knows it is part and parcel of the game and trusts John Still to construct a side fit for promotion.
“The gaffer will freshen it up where we need strengthening and that’s the nature of the game,” said the skipper. “Some will leave and it will be sad to see them go because we’ve been on a good journey together and that is coming to an end.
“But that’s football, we’ll come back for pre-season after a good rest and I don’t see why we can’t push on next year.”