Andy Bishop Meets Supporters After Everton Win

Andy Bishop says he is relishing his first start to a season in management as he prepares to lead Southport into the new Vanarama National League campaign.

The Sandgrounders begin their seventh straight season at the top level of Non-League football with a visit to recently-relegated Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Bishop guided Southport across the finish line to safety at the end of the last campaign, and having been rewarded for his good work by being handed the manager’s job on a full-time basis, he says his target this campaign is a top-half finish.

“I said at the start of the summer that it was important to get all of our players in quickly so everyone could gel,” Bishop said at a Meet the Manager event hosted by Trust in Yellow following victory in the final pre-season match against Everton under 23s on Sunday.

“It was good to end pre-season with a win. Our movement was good and it was pleasing to see us do well with some of the things we’ve been working on.

“We’re looking to have one or two more players in for Saturday. In terms of our shape, we’ve been playing a 4-3-3. I think our players up front will give us width and we’ll also be compact without the ball.”

Meet the Manager 2

The win against Everton was Southport’s third of the summer and came courtesy of goals from Josh Thompson, Neil Ashton and James Gray.

The Sandgrounders start the season with a visit to Dagenham, who were relegated from League 2 at the end of last season, before home matches against Gateshead and Woking.

“We’ve watched Dagenham, they get the ball forward quick play quite open,” Bishop said. “We’ll be ready for that and I think we’ve got a good chance of getting a result.

“I think we might surprise a few people this year. It’s all about consistency. Getting our squad together early has allowed us to work on a lot of things and I’d like to see us in the top 12.

“We’ve got some experience in the team and we’ve also got good legs. We’ve tried to get lads who are young and hungry, and who want to impress and move up the ladder.

“I was really impressed by the level of support we received from the fans last season and we want to work well together and give them something to be proud of.”

A video of the Meet the Manager session will be available on Monday.

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