Liam Watson sets Curzon Ashton challenge as Josh Miles’ Southport arrival explained

Southport manager Liam Watson following Kidderminster win

Southport manager Liam Watson has heaped importance on beating Curzon Ashton on Boxing Day.

The Yellows return to action as they look to return to the playoffs. Their recent run of draws has seen them slip out of the top seven.

However, during that time, they have played the likes of Brackley Town, King’s Lynn Town and Scarborough Athletic, all of whom are among the promotion and playoff contenders.

They travel to the Tameside Stadium looking to return to winning ways in the second meeting of the season between the two sides. Curzon stunned Port at Haig Avenue in the FA Trophy a matter of weeks ago before they encounter in the reverse fixture in the new year.

Watson, as a result, has said they “need to win”, he told Off The Park: “We’ve played them the other week and at the start of the game, we should’ve been out of sight. It’s a different game, different competition, we just need to win.

“I think home and away we’ve been alright, I’m not worried about where we go, we’ve played the top sides and held our own so we shouldn’t fear anyone at all.

“It’s been a good break, the lads have worked really hard in the gym, just haven’t had a lot of ball work and hopefully that’s set us up for the Christmas period, look forward to having a good game.

“They’ve had good cup runs but on the balance of play, they’re one place above the relegation zone so we should respect them but we shouldn’t fear them by any stretch of the imagination.

“Anyone who was at the FA Trophy would’ve seen after the first 25 minutes the game should’ve been over, put to bed but that was down to ourselves not being clinical. There’s not much I can do about that besides telling them that they’ve got to be more ruthless in the final third.

“We’ve set the lads a target, at the halfway turn which is 23 games in, we want to be on 35 points and if that’s the case, we know then if we replicate what we’ve done that’s where we are.”

This week, Southport completed the signing of Josh Miles from AFC Liverpool. The 17-year-old arrives at Port after catching the eye of the Yellows boss during his time with the Steven Gerrard Academy.

On his arrival, he said: “I think he’s a special player, I work with him every week in the academy, I see him close up.

“People will point the finger and say he’s young, which he is, but Jude Bellingham is young but he’s good enough, he [Bellingham] was playing wherever he was at his age so I wouldn’t have any qualms about playing Josh in our team but he is a project, we’ve all got to get behind him and make him a better player because if we do that, we will have a very special player on our hands.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the Steven Gerrard Academy and Dave Rowe for enabling us to do what we’ve done with Josh.

“He’s training with us and he’ll be with us for Boxing Day to keep him around. But I’m going to look to get him out playing ASAP so if he’s training with us but he might be dual-reg in the North West Counties but he’s with us, under our umbrella and if I have to play him I will do.”

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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