DARLINGTON manager Steve Watson says there is still plenty of work to be done to avoid the drop, as Quakers prepare for Saturday's crucial visit of Southport.

After winning 3-1 at Warrington on Monday, Quakers are currently sixth bottom, a point behind Blyth Spartans and two ahead of Farsley – who they play next Saturday – and Rushall Olympic, who both have a game in hand. Blyth play Rushall on Saturday, while Farsley host Peterborough Sports and then play each other again in midweek.

Since Watson took over from Josh Gowling at the start of January, Quakers have collected 30 points from 19 games, transforming a team that was second bottom and facing the drop into a team sixth from bottom and optimistic of avoiding it.

“We’ve tried to set up to win every game. It hasn’t always worked, and but it’s worked a good few times, and we’re hoping that it will work another three times,” said Watson.

“Southport are a tough team to play against. When we played them in my second match, they were very strong and we didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet against them. We’ve got slightly different personnel now, and we’re in a different place mentally now. We’re under no illusions that it’s going to be a difficult game again.”

Quakers are looking for their 11th win since Watson and his assistant Terry Mitchell took over in early January, and he feels that they’re going to need at least one more to ensure safety.

Watson said: “Terry keeps me informed. I know who’s playing who and who needs what, but we can only do what we can do. If we get a couple of wins out of the next three games, hopefully we’ll be home and dry. It’s been tough to get here, but we don’t expect it to get any easier now.

“When I came through the door with Terry, he said that we would need to win half of our games, and that looks as if it will pan out that way, maybe even more.

“At the time, I thought it would be a huge ask, but the lads have dug really deep, and fair play to them for that, but there’s still a lot of work to get over the line.”

Quakers' hopes of avoiding were lifted thanks to the impressive win at Warrington.

“We scored three good goals at Warrington. We created a lot of chances and we defended much better than we had done against Chorley on Good Friday," said Watson.

“We defended the box much better, and all that is going to be needed against a team that does load balls into the box. They’re quite a physical side who need points as well.

“We’re at the stage of the season in which there’s plenty on every game. Southport and Farsley and ourselves need points to get up the table, and Chester in our last game need points for the play offs. They’ll be three very competitive games.

“We’ll have pretty much a full squad, but training is a really good indicator for me. I put a lot of stock in training – if people don’t train properly, they won’t be in the squad.”

Watson will be missing defender Jassem Sukar, who is ill, and midfielder Jonny Ngandu who is injured.

Southport have the fifth best away record in the league this season, and won the reverse game earlier in the season at Haig Avenue by 2-0.