Jim Bentley - Southport managerJim Bentley admitted new signings are required if Southport are to compete in the National League North.

Speaking to MerseySportLive, the Southport manager provided an honest assessment of Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Banbury United at Haig Avenue that saw his side slip to 20th in the table.

He said: “I think we need players, that is evident. We are a little bit light in numbers plus, if I am being honest, I think a little bit light on quality as well, so there will be decisions having to be made.

“The players that are here now have had long enough to prove (themselves) and we find ourselves in the position we are in. They took one point from 14 games. Ultimately, we need better quality, we shouldn’t be going three games and getting beat in the manner that we have without scoring.”

The weekend’s defeat means the Sandgrounders have been on the losing side in their last trio of fixtures, with improvements desperately needed.

The future looks bright though, as a takeover of the club was completed this week, with those desired changes already being looked at.

Bentley said: “I have spoken to the new owner and we have explored loads of avenues over the last couple of days in terms of getting players in, but it’s a difficult stage of the season.

“We need people who know the level, know the game, a bit of experience to come in and improve us.

“We have already identified one or two and are trying to make it happen, but it’s easier said than done. It is not as if we can just cherry-pick who we want.”

The home defeat to Banbury United could have easily gone the other way, as Niall Watson could only roll the ball into Jack Harding’s gloves from two-yards out and a late penalty put Port to the sword.

Bentley said: “We gave away a bit of possession in regards to territory, but I don’t think we were good enough on the ball. Once we won it back, we were too cheap, we got caught in possession too many times, we gave it away too many times.

“But, having said that, when we did keep it, we created decent opportunities, we have had the better chances.”

Up next for Bentley’s men is a trip to Rushall Olympic next Saturday (Nov 4).