‘Got to be offensive’ – Southport boss Liam Watson hints at York City switch after Chorley disappointment

Southport manager Liam Watson during their clash with AFC Telford United.

Southport boss Liam Watson admitted their defeat to Chorley was deserved as he hints at tactical tweak for their important clash with York City.

Jordan Archer gave Port the lead against their playoff rivals but Oliver Shenton inspired a second-half comeback, including a stoppage-time winner, to boost the Magpies’ playoff hopes.

Port host York City this weekend with a point separating the two sides in the playoffs. Southport’s form against teams in the top six hasn’t been great this season but the Yellows boss has suggested that a change may be afoot for the important clash.

“They were better than us on the day, no doubt about it. We thought we could’ve nearly hung on but sometimes you need a kick in the gut to actually make you react,” he told Off The Park.

“With Doug [Tharme] going out the team, Doyley’s [Chris Doyle] has come into the team we’ve had to play with a three to protect Chris because he’s been our for such a long time. I’d suggest we’ve got to be a little be more offensive now, Chris has got a few games under his belt now so hopefully he’ll be fine in the middle of the back four as a two. 

“We were all second-best including me. It is what it is, we’ve got 12 games, said last week 14, Brackley and Chorley would be tough games, they all are. But on the balance of play, we’ve got ourselves into a final which is important but we’ve got to concentrate [now]. We’ve got a massive game against York, a great game to play in, we look forward to that and take it from there. 

“In terms of the shape, I am going to have to change it a little bit which I knew anyway. Not only do we lose Doug because he’s not fit, we also lose Jack Bainbridge because he’s out the middle of the pitch because he’s had to go in the back.

“We’ve lost two players in vital areas. I know what we need to do, we’ve just got to turn around and be a bit more offensive between now and the run in. 

“‘Put it behind you’ [message after the game]. There’s no point, that’s where I’ve got to earn my money. I’ve been many, many times through promotion playoff battles, championship battles, relegation battles, you know what you’ve got to do. Ultimately, you’ve just got to get over the line. 

“We’ll have a big crowd behind us. There will be a big crowd because York will bring a lot. It’ll be a great atmosphere, we’ve got to make sure we’re right and really positive so that we go into it with the right mindset.

“Done it most of the season, even at the start when we only took four points from the first eight. The lads are used to winning, we need to get back on, get a win under our belts.”

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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