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Southend United's Mark Phillips: Chelsea tie isn't just a pipe dream
MARK Phillips is adamant Southend United have a great chance of setting up a mouth-watering fourth round FA Cup clash with Premier League giants Chelsea.
Blues will face the current European Champions at Roots Hall later this month if they can beat Brentford in a third round replay at Griffin Park next week.
And Phillips, who captained Southend for the 2-2 home draw against the Bees on Saturday, is certain Paul Sturrock's side are capable of making it through.
“I thought we were the better team against Brentford at the weekend and there's no reason why we can't go there and win the replay,” said Phillips.
“We showed good character to come back from 2-0 down to force the draw and probably should've gone on to win it in the end.
“We had a few other chances to score and I didn't think Brentford created that much other than their goals.
“That bodes well for the replay and, while we know it will be very hard going there, we do feel as though we can get the right result.
“It's a great tie in the next round for whoever gets through and we will be fired up to try and make sure that's us.”
Blues faced Chelsea in the FA Cup back in 2009 and drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge before losing the replay 4-1 at Roots Hall.
That came after Southend missed out on facing the Londoners in 2004 after losing a replay against Scarborough.
And last season Blues could have faced Liverpool had they not lost a second round replay at Oldham Athletic.
Phillips was part of the starting line-up at Boundary Park and he feels this season's side is capable of avoiding a repeat performance.
“I think we're better equipped this year and have players who don't mess around in front of goal,”said Phillips.
“We have Britt (Assombalonga), Gavin (Tomlin) and Barry (Corr) all scoring and we have plenty of players who can also hit the back of the net so hopefully we can avoid a repeat of last year at Oldham.
“Before we played Oldham we did beat Preston, who were doing well in League One, in a replay so hopefully it can be a repeat of that.”
Blues earned their replay against the Bees, which is likely to be played next Tuesday, thanks to two well taken headers from Corr.
The Irishman declined the opportunity to talk to the press after the game but told the Echo he was delighted to have scored twice.
If Blues do win the replay then the fourth round tie against Chelsea would take place during the weekend of January 26.