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Bilel Mohsni: I will stay with Southend United until the end of the season
BILEL Mohsni has revealed he expects to stay with Southend United until the end of the season, despite being sent off on his return to action against Northampton Town on Saturday.
The Frenchman, who made a shock return to the starting line-up for the first time since last May, was sent off after just 27 minutes for a poorly-timed challenge on Cobblers winger Chris Hackett.
But he does not expect his appearance in the 2-1 defeat to be his last in a Blues shirt.
And he is desperate to work his way back into the good books of the Roots Hall faithful by firing Paul Sturrock’s side to promotion.
“I am here until the end of the season. I’m about to get myself a flat here again and I don’t think this will be my last game for Southend,” said Mohsni, 25.
“I’m happy to be back here because it hasn’t been a very nice few months for me and at one point I even thought about giving up playing football, but now I want to try and make sure what has been a horrible season can still end on a good note.
“I want to help Southend get promotion and win at Wembley and show what I can do.
“I know some fans are upset with what’s happened and getting this red card has put me in even more of a hole.
“But hopefully I can do well in the games when I come back, get some goals and help the team get some good results to help everyone like me again.”
Mohsni will miss Blues’ next three games — against Leyton Orient, Wycombe Wanderers and Barnet — after being dismissed.
However, he did not agree with the decision and thought he should only have been shown a yellow card.
“Their player caught me too and I have the stud marks in my skin to show it, so I think it should just have been a booking,” said Mohsni.
“It was also the first foul I have done in the whole game and I think the referee sent me off because of my reputation if I’m being honest.”
The defeat, which came after Kelvin Langmead bagged a last-minute winner for the Cobblers, meant Blues stayed ninth in the League Two table.
They are now also four points below the play-offs.
But that does not concern Mohsni who believes the gap will soon be closed.
“From what I’ve seen we have a good team with good players and we can go up,” said the defender.
“We were the better team against Northampton even with 10 men and that’s very positive because they’re a side in the play-offs.
“We’re also only six points from third with 14 games to go, so I think it will be an exciting end to the season.”
Southend boss Sturrock is also hoping for a successful end to the season and the Scotsman was adamant it was the right decision to recall Mohsni, despite his red card.
“I have no regrets about bringing Bilel back and it was the right thing to do with the injuries we have,” said Sturrock.
“He was playing very well up until the red card and made what was a mistimed rather than a malicious tackle.
“I feel for the lad, but it’s not the right time to be discussing if he will play for us again and it’s something you shouldn’t be asking.
“I was pleased with how the lads responded though and we should have taken something from the game.”