INTERVIEW | Soaking Up Pressure

Dan Hanford was pleased with the foundations Southport laid down in their opening game of their Vanarama National League North campaign.

Liam Watson’s side played out a goalless draw in a tight match against Hereford at the Pure Stadium on Tuesday night.

Hanford believes the Port were unfortunate not to take the rare the chances they received, with two efforts hitting the underside of the crossbar.

“It was a bit of a difficult game with the wind picking up. We dealt with their pressure well and we were just unlucky in the final third. We had a couple of chances, with two off the bar and a couple of balls across the box, where we couldn’t get there. I don’t think we got troubled too much apart from a couple of saves in the first half.”

The keeper was kept on his toes, as he was forced into action twice by long ranged efforts by Kyle Finn.

“The first one I thought he had done me, whilst the second one was destined for the top corner but got fingertips to. It was so early in the game where we were soaking up a little bit of pressure.”

Hanford was named man of the match for his performance against The Bulls.

After signing a new contract in the summer, the 29-year-old was eager to get back into competitive action after missing parts of last season with an injury.

“I was itching to get back in the squad last season, and it didn’t help I had a little bit of an injury, but when the season ended Liam (Watson) rang me saying he was interested to keep me on.

“I was excited to get started after seeing the squad he had put together, so it was a no brainer for me. Pre-season was really long, but I was itching for everyone to get back out there, and I think we’ve shown that we are gelling.”

One of the new additions in the summer was veteran keeper, Tony McMillan, who has also joined the club as a coach.

“Tony is a good lad, although he is a little bit older, he can still play, and he is pushing for the position as well. He’s very supportive and I’m supportive of him, he did very well on Saturday.”

As the Port prepare to for a trip to Kettering this Saturday, Hanford is hoping to squad can step up.

“The games are coming thick and fast now, at Kettering we will put a little bit more pressure on them and give the front lads more of a release because we have proved that we can soak up pressure.”

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