Southport defender Chris Lever believes Sandgrounders manager Liam Watson can manage in the Football League.
Watson, who has been linked to the Preston job, led Port to the 2010 Blue Square Bet North title and they now sit third in the Premier.
"Everyone's working hard but Liam has been different class," Lever told BBC Radio Merseyside.
"He's proved it at Blue Square North and this level, so there is no danger he can move up the leagues."
Southport's fortunes have been turned around in a short space of time, with the Sandgrounders now play-off contenders after being reprieved of relegation in June following Rushden's demise.
"Liam's brought in the kind of players we needed after last year," Lever continued. "We struggled last season and and he's definitely strengthened in certain areas.
"There's competition for places all over and makes everyone stay on their guard to keep their place."