Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Stockport County's plummet is a reminder of what could have been for Southend United
TOMORROW’S FA Cup clash between Southend United and Stockport County will bring back memories of Paul Sturrock’s first game in charge of the club.
The Scotsman took control of Blues for the first time when the Hatters visited Roots Hall in August 2010.
And, at the time, both teams were in similar predicaments having been relegated from League One during the previous term.
The two clubs had also been placed under a transfer embargo and had to scramble together new look squads during a short space of time in the build up to the new campaign.
But, while Blues have managed to hold their own and come close to getting promotion last season, Stockport dropped in to the Blue Square Bet Premier division.
They are currently playing their second season in non league and their current plight is a stark reminder of how things could have turned out for Southend.
“I remember Stockport being similar to ourselves and both struggling to get squads together with everything that was going on at the time,” said Sturrock.
“I had to put a whole new team together in not much time at all and we could only register everyone a few days before the game because of an embargo.
“It took about a year for the team to really gel and get together and that was shown in our second season when we topped the league for quite some time and only just missed out on promotion.”
The new look team started life with a 1-1 draw against Stockport as Sturrock’s son Blair came off the bench to bag an injury time equaliser.
And Sturrock senior does not want a repeat performance when the two teams do battle again at Roots Hall this weekend.
“I remember that we had 10 people making their debuts, that we should’ve won and that none of the players knew any of the other players’ names,” said Sturrock.
“That’s where we were at that time and we had to rely on a last minute equaliser to avoid defeat.
“Hopefully it won’t be like that again tomorrow but we may well have to be patient again because Stockport are having a good season and are a good side.”
Southend, however, have been lacking consistency this term and are currently 13th in the League Two table as Sturrock bids to build up another new look side.
“We’ve had a lot of players leave since last season and we’re a different side now,” said Sturrock.
“Last time it took us a year to get it together properly but we want to be doing it much quicker this time.”
>FIVE players from Sturrock’s first game in charge will be available for selection against Stockport County tomorrow.
Luke Prosser, Sean Clohessy, Chris Barker, Mark Phillips and Barry Corr all remain at Roots Hall after being selected for Sturrock’s debut game.
However, goalkeeper Glenn Morris is now second choice shot-stopper with Aldershot Town, Anthony Grant is with Stevenage, Craig Easton at Torquay United and Josh Simpson at Crawley Town.
Louie Soares is currently on loan at Ebbsfleet while the main surprise of Sturrock’s first team, Scott Spencer, left, now plays for Hyde United in the Blue Square Bet Premier.