Southend United manager Paul Sturrock: Gutted for Michael Timlin

Paul Sturrock - gutted for his injured midfielder Michael Timlin

Paul Sturrock - gutted for his injured midfielder Michael Timlin

First published in Sport by

THE good recent results we’ve achieved have been overshadowed by the serious injury Michael Timlin sustained at Leyton Orient during the week.

He broke his leg towards the end of our 1-0 win there and will need to have an operation which could keep him out for nine months.

We’re all gutted for him and it’s not nice when one of your players suffers an injury like that.

Michael is someone I have a good relationship with having also managed him at Swindon Town and him getting injured has put a real dampener on things.

However, one thing I know for certain is that he will be back and, being the determined character he is, I wouldn’t be surprised if he came back quicker than everyone expected.

We will keep him involved with us and do all we can to help him and I will be having a meeting with the chief executive and the chairman to see what we can do with the boy.

We will also need to talk about trying to replace him in the side but I’m still taking stock of the situation.

We will be having discussions with agents and clubs to see who is available but we can only sign someone on loan for 93 so we also have to decide when is the right time to bring in a new signing.

Michael will be hard to replace though as he’s an experienced player who talks and organises those around him.

But we have other players in the squad who may well need to step up and we will look to bring in someone else too.

Before then we will be thinking about tomorrow’s game against Accrington Stanley and we will be wanting to improve our record against them.

They won at our place on the opening day of the season and that was an incredibly frustrating day for us.

We feel like we owe them one to be honest but it will be a hard game there.

They may not be in great form but they’ve made some new signings and I certainly don’t think they will get relegated this season.

I think they will soon start to string together a run of improved results.

But hopefully that won’t happen until after we’ve played them.

We’re going there in good form on the back of three 1-0 wins and those clean sheets have pleased me.

When the game against Plymouth was postponed we had a few days where we could work on the shape of the side and that seems to have made a difference.

Having a settled back four has also helped but two of them are now injured and are big doubts for the game at Accrington.

We will need to battle on and it’s been very pleasing to see the goalkeeper, Paul Smith, turn a corner for us.

It’s something that I always thought was going to happen because he just needed the games.

Before coming here he hadn’t had much first team football for a while and I think he was a little bit ring rusty.

But he’s now firmly settled in to his new surroundings and he’s been fantastic for us in the last few games.

That’s been vital and we need to keep this good form going because I think the next five weeks are going to be key.

We will learn a lot more about all the teams challenging towards the top and that includes ourselves.

We play four of the top eight in our next seven league games and that will huge a huge say on our season.

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