Liam Watson eyes Southport response vs Alfreton Town after ‘letting fans down’ in humbling Warrington Town defeat

Southport Warrington Town

Southport manager Liam Watson has admitted they let the fans down on the opening day but is confident of a response.

The Sandgrounders got off to a nightmare start as they were beaten 4-0 at home to new-comers Warrington Town.

Although it wasn’t as one-sided as the scoreline suggests, Southport went close with a number of opportunities as Tyler Walton’s deft chip was chalked off for offside.

Watson says his side must regroup and head into their trip to Alfreton Town wish a positive mindset.

He told Off The Park: “In spells during the first half, I thought we were very good but goals change games, decisions change games – we never got the rub of the green. 

“It’s not what we need on the first day of the season but in reality, all we can do is regroup and go to Alfreton in a positive frame of mind.

|At half-time, we should’ve come in in the lead but we come in 1-0 down, that’s the facts of the game. We left ourselves wide open to get back into the game, gamble a bit, to be fair to Warrington they picked us off. 

“Bohan [Dixon] was probably one of the outstanding players on the pitch and make a huge difference on the day,” he added.

A bumper crowd was in attendance at Haig Avenue as Southport kicked off the new campaign. While there have been positive signs off the pitch going into the season with the investment from The Big Help Project, it was a disappointing start.

The Southport boss shoulders the blame for the performance and admits they let fans down.

Watson said: “I thought Tyler [Walton] was a handful on the day, the one he did put in the back of the net, he was flagged for offside – clearly on once you look back, which is disappointing. 

“Then the sending off which never ended up being one, never happened, so it could’ve easily been 1-0 up and down to 10 men. 

“As it panned out, it wasn’t the case and you’ve got to take it on the chin, accept it and move on. It’s a shame because there was a good atmosphere and we let people down.

“There is still a long way to go. I can point to a couple of things, Leamington won 4-0 on the first day of last season and got relegated, we were 5-0 up after an hour and next to the relegation zone.

“It’s a long, long season, we’ve just got to get the new players gelled in and get the rest of us performing at a proper level.”

The next two games are equally as important as their opening day encounter with Warrington Town. Southport face two of the trickiest away clashes in the National League North in Alfreton before their midweek trip to the North East to face Spennymoor Town.

Watson says his side will move on together and tipped them to bounce back from their disappointment. 

“The result isn’t what we needed or anyone at the club needed, that’s a fact.” he continued. “We’ve got to take that on the chin, I can’t question players after one game, there was individual errors but do I question them? I don’t. There was other people who didn’t play to the best of their ability but we’re a team, we take it together and move on. 

“They’re probably good fixtures for us. It’s what we need to do, we need to test ourselves against the best teams anyway. 

“It’s two teams who have been rebuilt over the summer, they lost a lot of players and trying to rebuild, but I’m confident in the players I’ve got. I’m confident that we’ll get a reaction.”

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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