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Southend United's Paul Sturrock: Cup games a concern
WE’RE in the middle of playing three games in the space of seven days and a fixture pile up does remain my biggest worry at this stage of the season.
We now have a two games against Leyton Orient to fit in as well as a rearranged league game against Cheltenham.
And, although it is fantastic and very exciting, to still be involved in three competitions, we do have a small squad and we’re going to have to be careful what we do with it.
We would certainly like to strengthen it if we could during the January transfer window and we are in discussions with a player and his club to bring someone in.
That won’t be happening before Saturday’s trip to Exeter though and that will be a very difficult game for us.
We need to try and get back on the rails again after two successive defeats in the league and we don’t want Exeter to open up a gap on us.
They have a point more at the moment but we hope to be able to sort that on Saturday.
We are away from home again but teams seem to be doing well on the road in League Two this season.
If you look at the results, some weeks there are only two or three teams winning at their own ground.
Exeter have won three games and nine on the road but they’re a quality team with very experienced players so we’re in for a very hard game.
They were better than us for around 70 minutes when they came to Roots Hall earlier on in the season.
But we were able to turn things around to win in 2-1 and a similar score-line would be great tomorrow.
We will go there in good spirits after winning on penalties against Oxford United in the JPT on Tuesday night.
Much has been made of my decision to bring on Daniel Bentley in place of Paul Smith for the spot-kicks.
However, I had a frank discussion with Paul at the training ground yesterday and made it clear I was disappointed by how he reacted to coming off and not shaking Dan’s hand.
But he apologised for his behaviour and he apologised to Dan as well so as far as I’m concerned the matter is now closed.
I again chose not to watch the penalty shoot out at the Kassam Stadium because I think they’re a scourge on the game.
It’s no way to decide a football match and I was always a fan of the golden goal.
I thought that added more drama to the game and caused excitement every time the ball went in to the box.
If that doesn’t produce a winner then I think penalties are unfortunately the only way to sort out a game.
Thankfully, they went our way at Oxford and it was good for Alex Woodyard to get another game in the midfield.
He’s done OK since going back in there after Tamika Mkandawire went back to Millwall but he is still a bit naive and has a lot to learn.
Ideally we would like to send him out on loan to continue that development but he is certainly a player with real potential.