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Southend United's Neil Harris: Torquay's form has surprised me this year
TORQUAY United are our opponents this weekend and I have to admit to being surprised by how well they have done this season.
They are sitting just outside the play-offs at the moment and will be a very tough team to play against.
In Rene Howe they also have an in-form striker who has been doing well and he’s somebody we will need to keep an eye on.
Torquay also have the ability to mix things up and can be quite physical when they need to be.
They can also play some nice football at times and that makes them a hard side to face.
The team they have is pretty similar to the one they had last season but we’ll be going there in positive spirits after a few good performances.
We won at Bristol Rovers and then I thought our 0-0 draw with Port Vale last Saturday was a cracking game to watch.
Their manager Micky Adams probably felt his team were worthy of a point but I think it would have been a huge injustice had their guy scored when he went clean through right at the end of the game.
I thought the first half performance was the best we have played at Roots Hall since the end of last season against Barnet.
We looked dangerous, confident and very assured but unfortunately we just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net which is the hardest part of the game.
I think the arrivals of Marc Laird and Tamika Mkandawire have made a big difference.
But Lairdy’ has, as expected, brought the IQ of the dressing room down quite a bit and having him, Dave Martin, Elliot Benyon and Alex Woodyard holding a conversation in the dressing room can actually be quite scary to hear!
ELLIOT LEADING OUR CHRISTMAS FUN
WITH Christmas fast approaching plenty of conversations have been taking place about our party.
Several ideas have been mentioned and I think it’s safe to say fancy dress will be involved.
All kinds of team bonding type ideas have been brought up and Elliot Benyon seems to be very excited about it all.
As a result, he seems to be the organising it all so god knows where we’re going to end up!
MOUSTACHES ARE TAKING SHAPE
OUR Movember moustaches are really starting to take shape now.
Several players and members of staff are getting involved and I think it’s important for football to play a part in raising these issues.
The way men are we don’t really talk about health issues when we’re sat down together in the pub and things like Movember help a huge number of people find out more about testicular and bowel cancer.
They then learn what to look out for and it’s a cause very close to my heart.
The worrying thing is some of the players think they actually look quite good with moustaches while others, myself included, realise we look quite stupid!
But the more horrendous it looks then the better it actually is because it’s all good fun.
Sadly some of our players were too worried about what they might look like to get involved but we’ve still got a good number growing them and we’re all right behind a Movember match which is being played at Great Wakering Rovers on November 21.
Tom Spall has gone to unbelievable amounts of effort to get everything sorted and it looks as though a number of top players should be going down there so I would urge anyone with an interest in football and raising money for an excellent cause to get down there.
MORE FRUSTRATION FOR ME
I’VE had to have a third injection on my knee in a bid to try and speed up my rehab programme.
I’m still looking at being out of action for another three of four weeks and it’s becoming an incredibly slow and frustrating process.
But sometimes in football you have to listen to your body and unfortunately that’s what I’m having to do at the moment.