Southport manager Liam Watson has described talk of relegation as “nonsense” following their win over Blyth Spartans.
Port endured a difficult run of late, which consisted of lengthy trips around the league, with their recent results spelling four straight league defeats.
As a result, they slipped down the National League North table but their win over Blyth saw them move up to 15th, six points clear of the drop zone. Southport have a games in hands plus the novelty of their home run in the run in.
Despite their recent form, the playoffs aren’t entirely off the table as 11 points off having played three games less than Chorley.
Chris Doyle continued his fine goalscoring season as Tyler Walton capped a well-worked set-piece after combining with Connor Woods to secure the three points although it was a nervy end after the visitors clawed a goal back through Troy Chiabi’s penalty.
Speaking to Off The Park, Watson said: “Disappointed with the performance, I thought we were poor, we only had to step the intensity up which we did at the start of the second-half, scored two goals and basically put the game to bed.
“However, we drifted back, defended deep late on but in the first-half we were woeful.
“We just told them a few home truths, that’s all you can do,” he revealed on the half-time instructions which were lead by assistant Terry McPhillips before the 52-year-old added at the end.
“Some people are fixated on themselves, they don’t realise they’re part of the team and all we were asking is to outrun the person you’re playing against. They’ve travelled four hours on a coach, they shouldn’t be outrunning you – it’s the other way round.
“Let’s put it in perspective, the first port of call is to get to 50 points, if you get to that in the next two games, you then start thinking: ’Hang on, we’ve got an awful lot of home games to come here,’ Watson explained discussing the end of their winless run.
“And lots of teams have to travel to us, especially on a Tuesday night which is an advantage. It’s getting towards the middle of march, I haven’t written off anything, we’ve got two semi-finals, hopefully two finals and there’s still a lot of games to come – a lot of winnable games.
“We’ve got games in hand on near enough everyone above us and they don’t count for nothing unless you win. If you go in five points adrift going into the final month of the season, that’s an easy turnaround, it’s two wins, then maybe a loss and a draw then you’re level-pegging.
“The one thing which hasn’t badly hurt us during this run is we’ve lost by the odd goal, our goal difference hasn’t been dramatically damaged. I haven’t written anything, we’ve got to perform like we have been performing and not Tuesday night.
“We’re not a million miles away from being half decent, we just need to be consistent and take the chances,” he added. “But I do think we need an out-and-out natural goal scorer in the squad. If you’re looking in reality, everyone in our league is looking for a goalscorer, even the likes of Fylde, they’re striker is from West Brom and he’s been recalled, that’s an issue for them.
“Goalscorer are at a premium because there isn’t many, you’d always have lots lower down banging in goals but that’s not even there.”
There is no game this weekend for the Sandgrounders as they begin preparations for the visit of Boston United on Tuesday. Five of their next season matches in the league are at Haig Avenue with a trip to Scarborough Athletic sandwiched between.
Watson insists there is the same importance on every game but feels their league position isn’t as precarious as what has been suggested.
He continued: “There’s the same importance on every game. I think there was too much nonsense being spoken about on social media, we are eight points above Blyth, games in hand and a shedful at home so I don’t see the connection why we’re under pressure.
“We are at this time a mid-table team and that’s where we’re sat, however a few wins back to back and then you’re not a mid-table team and can kick on again.
“If you lose four games you’re looking over your shoulder, Farsley went to King’s Lynn and won, Leamington have gone to Brackley and won, they’re two managers who are always going to try their upmost to get them out of trouble – I think they will – I’d like to think we’re not in that mix.”