Southport manager Liam Watson lifts lid on striker search as Banbury United praised

Southport manager Liam Watson

Southport manager Liam Watson has talked up their next opponents Banbury United ahead of their clash.

The newly promoted side have lost one of their opening six, winning four as they sit behind Kings Lynn Town at the top of the National League North standings.

Already this campaign, Ronnie Johnson’s side have beaten Curzon Ashton, AFC Fylde, Darlington and Hereford. However, their winning run came to an end when they were edged out by Leamington away from home on Monday.

Last season, Banbury amassed 100 points, losing just twice on course to their promotion to the National League North. Port manager Liam Watson praised the Reds.

He told Off The Park: “Leamington played them on Monday, they come up last year with over a 100 points in the league below – I think anyone who gets over a 100 points it’s some going. They’ve had a good start but I think there’s parts of their game where we can unsettle them.

“I just want them [the players] to give me what they give me on Monday, honesty which they did. Saturday was poor – wasn’t through a lack of effort, just a lack of quality.

“I don’t think Monday was a lack of quality, at times we played good stuff, just got to go into the game positive.”

During the Bank Holiday weekend, the Yellows picked up just a point as they drew with Telford United before they were beaten away at Fylde.

Watson was left disappointed from the results but felt it could’ve been a different story on Lancashire Coast after their second half showing.

He added: “We’ve only took a point out of two games so there’s a disappointment there, did we deserve more than one?

“We should never have lost on Monday, I thought the performance was good, especially in the second half we were by far the better team so we could have but then again, we could’ve lost our point on Saturday when our performance wasn’t great.

“On the balance of play, I’d probably say it was a fair reflection, I felt it should’ve been the other way around, we should’ve got something at Fylde and Telford missed a penalty but again, there was nothing in the game. The game against Telford was poor quality from both teams.

“The performance on Monday was there and you could tell from the reaction from the crowd, the lads got clapped off, stayed right behind them.

“From that point of view, disappointing that they never because they deserved something but at this moment in time, we’ve got that many injured to actually go in and put a performance in against Fylde says a lot about the group.”

Southport are continuing their hunt for reinforcements in attacking areas following their injury crisis. They came close to signing an attacker last weekend until the player’s club opted to keep him ahead of the double header.

The Sandgrounder’s manager was hopeful of signing him ahead of this weekend’s trip to Banbury, only for the attacker to be injured at his parent club – despite not featuring. As a result, the enquiries have continued, including for a former Haig Avenue favourite.

Watson continued: “If I told you how many clubs, people and personnel I’d spoken to in the last week you wouldn’t believe me anyway.

“Current climate is no one wanted anyone to come out before the Bank Holiday weekend, the one we thought we had a chance of getting has now got injured. He’s going to be out for a couple of weeks, we [also] made a strong enquiry about a former favourite of the club.

“We’ve enquired about several [other players], as it pans out I’m optimistic Jordan Archer will be fit for the weekend and then after Saturday I’ve got Niall and Tyler Walton back. Josh Hmami come on for 20 minutes on Monday, ahead of schedule which is a bonus, Declan Evans done amazing to play 60 then 90, every credit to him.

“You’d like to think it [injuries] was tailing off a bit. Lost Adam Anson and Chris Doyle so I’m two central defenders now so it’s switched from the front end of the pitch to the back, having Declan back is a bonus.”

One player they have signed recently is Accrington Stanley loanee Enock Lusiama and Watson is confident he will extend beyond their original one-month loan. He continued: “I think Accy will fine with that, I’ll have to speak to Enock but I don’t see it being a problem.

“We want to try and help the squad off the pitch with bringing in A something which will help us better but not just going along with we’ll bring someone in because we need a body in, they’ve got to come in and make a difference. 

“I’ll try and be patient, we have made one or two – not offers to buy – but offers to take so we’ve got plates spinning. Basically we’re in the hands of the owner of the player.”

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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