Southport expecting difficult Gateshead clash as Liam Watson praises “touching” support

Unbeaten Gateshead travel to Southport on Saturday as the Sandgrounders look to pick up their first win of the season, but manager Liam Watson admits they will be difficult opposition.

The PURE Stadium welcomed fans back through the turnstiles in August, Watson says the support received from the fans has been the best he’s seen in the 12 collective years he’s spent at the helm.

Two draws and two defeats paint the picture for the Yellows in the early stage of the season but performances have pleased the manager.

Gateshead won 4-1 last time out after a Gerard Garner opened the scoring on the stroke of half time before completing his hat-trick after firing the North East side into a 3-0 lead shortly before the hour mark.

Former Newcastle defender Mike Williamson is the player-manager for the Tynesiders who have two wins from three so far after beating Guiseley and Kettering Town.

READ MORE: Liam Watson reassured by Southport performances

Macauley Langstaff has three goals in as many games for Williamson’s side with the 51-year-old praising the visitors ahead of their visit to Haig Avenue.

“Gloucester were difficult, they were six points clear when the pandemic struck, Spennymoor’s always a tough place to go, Kidderminster we’re top when we played them,” he said.”

“We’ve had really tough tests anyway, it’s going to be no different against Gateshead.

“We played them at the back of last season and they beat us convincingly, they’re a good footballing side.

“The managers obviously an extremely good player, he’s really influential for them at the back, he didn’t play on Monday but when he’s on the pitch they’re far stronger.”

Collectively, 1,700 fans have been in attendance for Southport’s opening games but this season more than any other stands out for Watson, but he acknowledges results on the pitch need to be turned around.

“To be honest I’ll say I’ve been at Southport 12 seasons over three spells and this is the best I’ve seen the fans get behind the fans and that’s some comment by the way.

“Huge [fans impact on the season], the only way they’ll stay with us is if we perform, you can’t expect us to stay willynilly, we have to perform they give us the following. It’s been humbling and touching the support we’ve had, it’s home and away. It’s not just home.”

[Featured image by Julia Urwin]

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