Southport manager Liam Watson dissects ‘slightly disappointing’ National League North campaign as miss Play-Offs

Southport manager Liam Watson

Southport manager Liam Watson has reflected on a ‘slightly disappointing’ season as they missed out on the National League North playoffs.

Port endured a slow start which saw them rooted to the foot of the table during a difficult beginning to their campaign.

However, they put on a magnanimous run which saw them sail up the table and into the playoff positions.

But their mid-season collapse saw Southport’s stronghold in the playoffs slowly slip away as they fell out of the run-in for National League promotion.

January saw their top goalscroer, Marcus Carver depart for Hartlepool United with Doug Tharme securing a summer move to Blackpool. Their miserable run in the second half of the season was compounded with heavy defeats to the likes of Kidderminster Harriers.

For Watson, he couldn’t help but express his disappointment, he told Off The Park: “I’ll always feel a slight tinge of disappointment because of the run of games at the end.

“But really it come down to injuries and tiredness I think as a group of players they’ve given me everything all season, no complaints with any of them. It’s nice to see them win a trophy but if you said at the forefront of the season that we wanted to be competitive towards the playoffs all season, we wanted to win something and throw into the fact that we sold a couple of players into the Football League, on the whole it’s been a really good season. 

“I think all we probably lacked was experience. If you think our two experience players being Marcus Carver and Russell Benjamin, Russell Benjamin got injured at the start of the season and didn’t play again.

“Marcus had a fabulous season but then fortunately for him, unfortunately for us, a bigger club come in for him and that’s just football, pleased for him for his own personal point of view, sad to see him go from mine and the lads point of view but it’s what we are as a football club. I totally endorse what we are so no complaints, to sell a lad at 28 to the Football League, every credit to him. 

“I think there will be a slight tweak in the way we play (next season), I think Terry (McPhillips) will have more time with them on the training ground because he hasn’t had an opportunity with them bar Thursday night training so I think there will be a bit more emphasis on possession. But possession in the right areas still. 

*Interview conducted in May.

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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