Returning Southport striker Marcus Carver says he is looking bring back the good times at Haig Avenue after arriving on loan from Scunthorpe United.
On Thursday, Carver sealed a two-month loan to the Yellows marking his return to Southport after leaving for Hartlepool United in January.
The striker enjoyed a rich vein of form with the Sandgrounders as he spearheaded Port’s formidable run until his departure. He famously scored an acrobatic bicycle-kick during last season’s FA Cup against Chorley.
His return to Southport is weeks in the making after his comeback was thwarted by a thigh problem. He has been receiving treatment in the time that followed and has been put through his paces as he looks to hit the ground running in his second-spell under Liam Watson.
He told Off The Park: “It’s like a weight lifted off of my shoulders, to comeback from a couple of injuries and not a great six months away at the back end of the season. I’ve gone for a fresh start to Scunthorpe, hit another injury.
“The main focus for me was to get back to match fitness and go somewhere I know I’m going to enjoy my football, I thought no better place to come than Southport.”
On the eve of his proposed loan switch, Carver suffered an injury at his parent club, Scunthorpe United, which ruled him out for a number of weeks.
The 28-year-old spoke his disappointment that another injury issue had poured cold water on a return to Merseyside.
“Very [disappointing]. I came into Scunthorpe on the back end of an injury, I missed all but one week of pre-season, I’ve come to Scunthorpe fighting to get my fitness up and I felt like I was about to get there until the injury struck,” he added.
“Obviously it was a niggle at the start, I thought I could get through it, get through it, when I found out there was a chance to go and improve my fitness, play under Liam at Southport – I thought it’d be great then the injury struck and it was another back step.
“As a lad, you just want to play football and enjoy playing, it give me another stumbling block and put a downer on everything.”
As he returned from injury, the need for first-team minutes became evident. As a result, he had a number of clubs lining up – including Southport who were left with Jordan Archer as their striker following an injury to Niall Watson and Nyal Bell sidelined for the remainder of the season.
He said: “For me, the main thing is to get out and play football, I had to pick a couple of clubs I wanted to go to but at the end of the day, Southport was where I played my best football and Liam knows how to get the best out of me. I feel like it was right decision to get a couple of months of games under my belt.”
Following the announcement, there was an outpouring of elation from Yellows fans. But the supporters haven’t been too far away with Carver as they offered well wishes and even chanced the possibility of a return to Haig Avenue.
Now, he looks to regain fitness and enjoy that goalscoring feeling again. He continued: “I’ve spoke to the fans throughout my move, they’ve wished me well, they’ve always wished for me to come back.
“Sometimes I’ve seen complaints of how the season’s started but I’m hoping I can come in, bring the team morale up, they help get my fitness up and hopefully I can return the favour with a few goals and more points.”
With Leamington this weekend’s visitors, Carver could be in contention for a return in the first steps of his recovery.
“I feel good, I’ve had a good week of training under my belt,” he said allaying fears of the injury. “Training fitness and match fitness are two different things but this is the reason why I’ve come from Scunthorpe for a couple of months to get my match fitness and confidence up.
“My legs feel strong, I need to keep being mobile, hopefully I can get through the two months without injury and put me back in good stead to go back to Scunthorpe.”
Despite only arriving on a temporary loan, Carver has his sights on restoring confidence in Port as they have just two league wins so far this term.
He concluded: “Hopefully bring back the same Marcus and the same team spirit we had from last season before I left.
“We started the season, I don’t think we won for the first month then we went on an unbelievable run and then we hit a stalemate after January. I’m just hoping to bring back the team spirit, the good times again, get the team flying and pushing in the right direction.”