Liam Watson makes transfer admission as Southport stance revealed

Liam Watson - Southport vs Curzon Ashton

Southport manager Liam Watson has expressed his desire to remain at the club beyond this season as they look to finish the season unbeaten.

They are unbeaten in four with their only win coming against Blyth Spartans. Their previous three has seen them claim points against Boston United, Kettering Town and Alfreton Town.

As it stands in the league, Southport remain five points clear of the bottom four. With games in hand, they are three points off the 50-point mark, a position widely considered to secure safety in the National League North.

“It’s just trying to stay on a tough run between now and the end of the season, a tough trip to Scarborough at the weekend, two semi-finals in a week then more games and a big local derby against Chester,” Watson told Off The Park. “We’ve got to keep on plugging away.

“We got a goal disallowed which looking back looks well onside but listen, no complaints on the scoreline in either game,” he said on their most recent draw with Alfreton. “Dec Evans hasn’t played a game in two months, had to come in and mark Tom Denton which isn’t easy at the best of times and to get through the 90 is some achievement.”

The registrations window closed on Thursday but there was nothing more than dual registrations at Haig Avenue. Striker Jordan Archer has been absent from the squad in recent weeks through injury and his time on the treatment table has coincided with their difficulty in front of goal.

Port made efforts to sign strikers in the closing stages of the window but saw their interest rebuffed as teams opted to keep ahold of their assets for the final games of the campaign.

Watson continued: “We’re just waiting on Jordan to be honest. We’ve had two attempts at proven strikers but it hasn’t happened, the sad thing is both players wanted to come. The clubs don’t want to let them out, one of them is already relegated – so I don’t understand that one – but the other is in a fight so they wouldn’t let anyone out.

“I thought he would’ve been back against Alfreton but was still stiff, did a little bit, just see where he is come the weekend. At this moment in time, he’s got an outside chance for being fit on Monday. If I could bring in a striker I would but it’s easier said than done because everyone is looking for one.

“We beat Blyth and we’ve been unbeaten ever since. I don’t think it’s that bad but because of where we are, we’re not going up and we’re not going down so we have to try encourage them to give everything. That’s what they have been doing all along.”

In recent months, there have been growing frustrations off the pitch with fans becoming irritated by performances and movement in the market. In turn, their feelings have been directed at the club’s hierarchy including owner Ian Kyle, as well as the manager.

On Tuesday, a banner was unveiled in the Jack Carr stand urging the team to be backed. Recently, the club have published a question and answer video with Kyle and Watson where they discussed the stability of the club as well as their openness to investors – highlighting the difficulty they face in bringing in external income to help bolster the ranks and aim up the table with ongoing financial constraints.

The Sandgrounders boss said: “Yeah, I’m not going anywhere. They’re doing what they’re doing, they need to get behind the team, it’s not making the environment a nice place to play.”

They travel to playoff-chasing Scarborough Athletic on Saturday as they look to dent their playoff hopes. Watson continued: “There will be lots of pressure on them because they were well and truly welded on the playoffs and now they’re fighting for them. It’ll be a good game. I never thought I’d say this but it probably takes a little bit of pressure being away from Southport at the minute.

“It’s a tough game, they’re a good time, they’re big, strong and organised. They went a goal down against Chester and got an equaliser, they’re certainly an honest group, it won’t be easy.”

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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