Liam Watson makes Scarborough Athletic demand as Southport eye playoff return

Liam Watson Southport vs Farsley Celtic

Liam Watson insists that his Southport side have to be up for it and play their part if they are to beat Scarborough Athletic.

Last season’s Northern Premier League playoff winners have made a brilliant start to the National League North campaign as they sit in the playoff places, four points and as many places above the Yellows.

Port return to Haig Avenue for the visit of Jonathan Greening’s side and come into the clash on the back of three consecutive league draws.

Their previous two home matches have ended in a share of the spoils after impressive displays against Brackley Town and King’s Lynn Town.

But after last weekend’s draw at Kettering Town, results went against them and they slipped out of the playoff places.

Watson admitted he is more than aware of the quality that this weekend’s opposition possess, including former midfielder Kieran Glynn – who was apart of the promotion-winning side last season.

He told Off The Park: “They’re obviously come up with the momentum of teams promoted which can happen, we’ll probably find out more about them in the second-half of the season but they’ve done remarkably well up to now.

“You’ve got to treat them with the upmost of respect, they’ve had a couple of defeats on the spin but they’ve got good players – Kieran Glynn who used to play for us, we know how good technically he is – and you don’t get promoted with duffers so it’ll be a tough, tough game.

“We just need to concentrate on getting maximum points, we drew with Brackley and Kings Lynn but you could look at it another way and say we dropped four points, Saturday becomes a big big game where we are in the table.

“I try to build up every game as a big game whether it’s Runcorn Town or whether it’s Scarborough. We are where we are, we’re in the final eight of both County Cup competitions, in the league we’re in and around the playoff mix where we want to be.”

With the January transfer window around the corner, the Port boss admitted that they are already receiving offers for their players.

“We’re moving along nicely, if we get through January and last year we probably were a little bit derailed by the sales of the players, it just depends whether the players will get interest, we’ve got an offer on the table for one of our players at the minute so will see where that leads,” he added.

The visit of Scarborough marks the start of December and a busy month of tough away trips, something the Yellows boss labelled as “massive”

“It’s massive, I always like the Christmas months, we’ve got a lot of travelling in December, a lot of tough places to go; Darlington, Blyth, Hereford, they’re not easy places so all the lads have got to be up for it and play their parts,” he continued.

“It becomes a great point if we make it three on Saturday, keep the unbeaten [league] run going, if we can go into Christmas on good run of form collecting a lot of points it makes it interesting for the second-half of the season,” the Southport manager explained discussing the draw last weekend.

“It was a difficult place, difficult pitch for both teams. I think we were the better team on the day, they had one really good chance with a shot outside the box that Tony saved but apart from that, territorial wise, we finish with about 10 corners, lots of attacks – we just couldn’t get the final touch on things.”

This week saw Southport progress in the Liverpool Senior Cup as they piled on the misery for Runcorn Town. Karl Brown and Lee Bignell took charge of Town after Matt Barnes resigned last week.

Watson wasn’t at the game but has since watched the footage back and enjoyed most of what he saw. He said: “I’ve seen and watched the match, seen the goals, the incredible amount of misses but it was important, the lads had went to Dublin Saturday, Sunday and came home Monday so it was important they got a game under their belts.

“You’re better off playing than training, people got game time, nice for Connor Heath to get a hat-trick, nice for Connor Woods to get a goal, Jordan Archer got on the scoresheet and normally scores in bundles so hopefully that’s the start of one of his runs. So, pleasing.”

On Monday, Connor Woods’ loan at Warrington Town was cut short after a successful spell away from Haig Avenye, scoring six goals in 12 appearances for the Northern Premier League outfit.

With fears of injury problems up, Watson alleviated concerns with the Skelmersdale-born attacker giving the Port boss a headache for the upcoming matches.

He said: “No [there’s no injury crisis], Niall’s carrying a knock so it gives us an option out wide but he’s been playing his best football down the middle at Warrington.

It gives us a choice to make, Connor Heath scored a hat-trick, Connor’s been playing regularly so between all the forwards, I think they’ll get 90 minutes in the next two games.”

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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