Southend United's Neil Harris: Cup timing is perfect now streak has ended

Neil Harris

Neil Harris

First published in Sport by

WE have a couple of cup games to get back to winnings ways in the next few days and I think they’ve come at a good time for us.

We were all disappointed to lose against Burton and then Gillingham.

But we have Brentford in the FA Cup on Saturday before visiting Oxford United in the JPT the following Tuesday.

We will want to be winning both of those games because if we do there’s the chance of getting a plum tie against a Premier League team in the FA Cup.

And in the JPT we’re getting closer to reaching Wembley, which would be an unforgettable occasion.

That’s why we want to do well and bring in finances for the football club — and you can play with more freedom in cup games, which I think will suit us right now.

We’ve had two successive defeats and against Burton I think we found ourselves up against a team a bit more battled hardened than ourselves on the day.

That was followed by a 1-0 defeat to Gillingham but, on the balance of play throughout the whole 90 minutes, I don’t think we deserved to lose.

We gave away a sloppy goal very early on in the game which gave us a mountain to climb and unfortunately we couldn’t quite finish off the chances that came our way.

It certainly wasn’t the way we would have wanted to end 2012, but overall I think you would have to say it’s been a good year for us.

We didn’t get the promotion we wanted, but we ended last season on 83 points, which takes some doing.

And there was no disgrace in losing in the play-offs to a Crewe side who had a couple of players who are now in the Premier League.

There was a mini overhaul of the squad in the summer with some bad professionals leaving and, once we settled down, we’ve been doing well again.

We have a different style of play this season and we’ve again worked ourselves into a good position to be challenging for promotion in 2013.


MARC Laird’s and Tamika Mkandawire’s loan spells have now come to an end and, just like everyone else, we’re waiting to find out what will happen.

Both of them have been fantastic during their time here and everyone is confident Lairdy will stay for longer.

We’re all hoping he does, mainly just because we all want to see the state of him after his tooth was broken during the game against Gillingham on Tuesday.

It was quite a bad injury he suffered and one that would probably have ended someone’s chance of ever becoming a model.

But considering Lairdy is as white as a snowman and weighs about six stone ringing wet, there probably wasn’t much chance of that ever happening anyway!

Tam has gone back to Millwall now and we always knew his was going to be a short-term stay.

He came here to get his fitness back after injury and showed the importance of a sitting midfielder in the modern game.

Tam played very well and we all wish him the very best for the future.



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