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The Echo in Madrid with Southend United
This live event has finished
- Blues are currently going through their second training session of the day in warm conditions. The players had earlier been on a tour of Real Madrid's Bernabéu Stadium and have been talking about it ever since.
Made it to Madrid Airport. Waiting to board plane now. Adios amigos!
TRANSFER UPDATE: It is Southampton striker Jonathan Forte who Blues boss Phil Brown is trying to bring to the club on loan.
Brown said: "I worked with Jonathan at Hull and would like to be able to work with him again."
JUST back from a great night out with the three Blues fans here in Madrid. Leave for the airport in two hours. Players flying home slightly later than me!
Three amigos - Blues' fans in Madrid (left to right) Gareth Pummery, James Durham & Warren Sadler
Cool dude - Blues boss Phil Brown
Ryan Leonard on the ball during today's game
Trialist Conor Clifford came on at half-time for Blues against Real Madrid C today.
Some pictures from today's game coming up...
NOW ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS
@crawliano: Did you see any stars in the making in the C team?
"They all looked very comfortable on the ball, as you would expect. No one player stood out but a couple of them showed good skill on the ball when going forward."
@jimmyshrimp4: Do you think barring a few new signings, that today's starting line up was close to that on August 3?
"I think that the team Phil Brown picked today is currently his strongest starting line-up, so yes."
@truebluesufc: With weather like it is here in the UK at the moment what was the point?
"The facilities here are first class, the club also think it improves team spirit and it's good to be somewhere different rather than being at Boots & Laces all the time."
@gregstarz: Do you think the trip was worth it for Southend?
"All the players and coaching staff have said so and they're better placed than me to answer that question."
@mullerreus: What positions is Brown looking to fill? Where will Ryan Leonard play this season?
"With Ryan Cresswell going and Chris Barker not in his plans, Phil Brown will definitely be wanting a new centre-back. He still wants to sign Charlie Lee from Gillingham and definitely wants at least one more striker. He hopes to sign one on loan by the end of the week. Ryan has played midfield all pre-season and did well there again today so that would suggest that is where he will play."
@jimmyshrimp4: Not so much about the tour, but is our mystery midfielder still on the cards or dead in the water?
"It's still being talked about. I think it's being held up by the club he's at."
@gregstarz: Did Julian Bennett get any time? If so how did he look as he should be a top signing at this level
"He came on at half-time. He looked assured on the ball but wasn't tested too much defensively. He had one misplaced header after he came on but was otherwise quite solid and gave good balance to the defence."
@jimmyshrimp4: Which of the trailists looked worth a deal?
"I would definitely have another look at Connor Clifford and Julian Bennett. Not sure about the Spanish striker though to be honest."
@mullerreus:Will Clifford get an extended trial?
"Phil Brown hinted that he would be involved in one of the next two friendlies coming up."
ECHO COVERAGE: Mark Phillips and Phil Brown have both agreed to write columns in the Echo this season. Phillips' first column will include plenty of reaction from Madrid.
PHIL Brown could look at trialists Julian Bennett and Conor Clifford in the upcoming friendlies.
He said: "It's hard to come on as sub in a friendly and do well and it's even harder when you're a trialist. I think we will look at both Julian and Conor again before making a decision."
Bennett is a centre back who has previously played for Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest while Clifford is a midfielder who came through the ranks at Chelsea.
BLUES will head back home tomorrow and boss Phil Brown is keen to keep the intensity of pre-season training quite high.
Brown said: "I've been told that after a tour comes a bit of a lull but we can't afford that. We have QPR on Friday and West Ham on Monday. I still have things to look at but will have to start showing my hand soon."
FANS have been reacting to news that John White has been named as the new captain of Southend United.
@jimmyshrimp4: Quite happy with White as captain, there wasn't many candidates to chose from to be fair.
@gooner_jw: Mine would have been either Phillips or Prosser but I will fully support John White still not a bad choice.
@gregstarz: Good decision in my opinion, I would have gone with Cresswell but as he's gone that's fine with me.
@patricksufcjee: Not liking PB reasoning for naming him captain.Should be about the best/natural leader, not him making a mark
ANYTHING you want to know about Blues' trip to Madrid? Send me your questions via Twitter @cjphillips1982 before 7.15pm and I will answer them on here.
WHILE the players went on a tour of Madrid, I went along to see the Bernabeu Stadium where Real Madrid play. Very impressive indeed.
TWO of the Blues fans out here in Madrid have had tattoos done to mark the occasion - Gareth Pummery and Warren Sadler. Think they´re trying to talk James Durham in to it now!
A LATE header from Spanish trailist David Cubillas secured Southend United a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid C at their training complex today.
The hosts went in front after just eight minutes when Dani Suarez headed home from close range.
But the Shrimpers recovered well from the setback and made sure of a draw when Cubillas nodded in an Anthony Straker cross five minutes from time.
And that delighted manager Phil Brown.
“We did well in unbelievable heat and I was happy with work-rate and the performance of our players,” said Brown.
“It will be completely different to what will face us in League Two and the Real Madrid team was very young.
“But we played to our strengths and we got a lot from the game.”
Brown also looked at trialists – ex Nottingham Forest defender Julian Bennett, former Chelsea midfielder Conor Clifford and ex Villarreal B striker Cubillas during the game.
And he will now be mulling over their futures.
“It´s difficult coming on as sub and it´s even more dfficult doing that as a trialist but we could have another look at them back in England,” said Brown.
“I thought David got a bit lost in the game at times but he got in to goalscoring positions and should´ve scored another one.”
Blues had an early Ryan Leonard effort ruled out for offside before Madrid took the lead when Ramirez´s right wing free-kick was missed by Daniel Bentley and Suarez headed home from close range.
Bentley made amends for the mistake by doing well to deny both Fran Sol and Bruno in quick succession.
In reply, an unmarked Cubillas then headed a right wing cross from John White wide of the left post but he made no mistake in the 85th minute as he nodded in off the right flank from close range after good approach play from Michael Timlin and Straker.
Southend United: Bentley, White, Phillips, Prosser (Bennett 46), Coker (Straker 80), Leonard, Laird (Clifford 46), Atkinson, Straker (Timlin 75), Eastwood (Njie 64), Corr (Cubillas 46) Sub not used: Chambers
TRANSFER UPDATE: The striker played in League One last season but is still on the books of a Premier League club.
Where the game was played
Today's team sheet
THREE Blues fans travelled over to Madrid to watch today´s game. Warren Sadler from Westcliff, Benfleet´s Gareth Pummery and Chelmsford based James Durham. Great effort from them all.
MICHAEL Timlin made his first appearance since being released from Chelmsford Prison.
It was also his first game since breaking his leg against Leyton Orient last February.
Timlin said: I´ll be working as hard as I can to get my fitness back and it´s time for me to focus on my football again and not look back at what´s happened."
REAL Madrid´s training ground was just amazing. Ten pitches, all with first class pitches, stands and floodlights. Also saw a few of their stars nearby with Zinedine Zidane, Mesut Özil and Luka Modrić all driving past.
Here's a plan of the ground
BLUES players now having a recovery session in the swimming pool after the game and will be going on a sight-seeing tour of Madrid later today.
TRANSFER UPDATE - Phil Brown has confirmed his interest in a striker who played in League One last season on loan.
The full story will be in tomorrow´s Echo.
JOHN White has replaced Chris Barker as Blues captain and Barker could now leave the club.
He is currently on trial with Hereford United.
FORMER Nottingham Forest defender Julian Bennett played the whole second half at centre-back, while ex Chelsea midfielder Connor Clifford and Spanish striker David Cubillas also played the second 45 minutes.
TRIALIST striker Don Cowan missed the match with a hamstring problem while Kevan Hurst was out with a hamstring injury.
JOHN White skippered the Shrimpers against Madrid and has now been named as the new club captain.
Boss Phil Brown said: "John leads by example on and off the pitch and I wanted to make it a Phil Brown side by having someone I signed as captain."
An interview with Brown will be in tomorrow´s Echo
INTERNET working again! Blues have just drawn 1-1 with Real Madrid´s C side. Dani Suarez put Madrid ahead after just eight minutes but Shrimpers´trialist David Cubillas headed home an equaliser five minutes from time.
Blues: Bentley, White, Phillips, Prosser (Bennett 46), Coker (Straker 80), Leonard, Laird (Clifford 46), Atkinson, Straker (Timlin 75), Eastwood (Njie 64), Corr (Cubillas 46)
Goalkeeper Luke Chambers has travelled out to Madrid due to an injury to Paul Smith and he's had quite a drastic haircut since arriving in the Spanish capital.
Phil Brown and team
Freddy Eastwood having a shot at goal in training.
TRANSFER RUMOUR: Just heard that Blues are keen on signing a striker who was playing in League One last season. Will be asking Phil Brown about this as soon as I can.
NOW hearing that the Ryan Cresswell deal was actually slightly higher than the £150,000 previously mentioned.
TWITTER: Wide range of answers so far.
@nickhanshaw: Bottom six
@lincolnshrimp: Without a goal scorer mid table. Midfield should be strong enough to secure our League Two status comfortably enough
@charles_colin: Not a clue where we will finish, depends on personnel which we've not got yet. Current squad 18th.
@dean_raven: Bottom half, 16th or 17th
@nick_gcooper: Be lucky to get top 10
TWITTER QUESTION: Where do you think Blues will finish in League Two this season. Join the debate by following me @cjphillips1982
TWITTER WATCH: Lots of you now asking me how much Cresswell was sold for. Club are remaining tight-lipped and have announced it as an undisclosed fee but I think it's around the £150,000 mark.
We must bring new players to the club and we're working hard to make that happen. But right now we have about 14 senior professionals and we need about 20.Phil Brown
DURING my time in Madrid I'll also be tweeting. Follow me here @CJPhillips1982 and I'll copy some of your views on to this page.
What do you think of Ryan Cresswell's departure, would you have accepted a six figure fee for the defender and how do you think Blues will get on this season?
I ALSO spoke to a very determined Daniel Bentley earlier who is eager to impress against Real Madrid's C team tomorrow as he strives to become Blues' first choice between the sticks.
THANKFULLY Phil Brown didn't swear when I spoke to him earlier. He said: “It’s a big blow because Ryan is a good player who we ideally would’ve wanted to keep. However, I want players here who are 100 per cent in to Southend United and we wouldn’t have got that commitment from him because he wanted to leave.
I WAS intending to share a few tweets with you about Cresswell but most of them seem to contain swear words!
BLUES fans have also been having their say on Ryan Cresswell's departure.
THE big Blues news of the day however has been Ryan Cresswell's move to Fleetwood Town. The defender was very impressive for Southend last season and boss Phil Brown has told the Echo he was sad to see him leave. The full interview will be in tomorrow's paper.
BUT three trialists will definitely be in action for Blues. Defender Julian Bennett, midfielder Conor Clifford and striker Don Cowan will all be looking to impress.
BLUES are preparing for tomorrow morning's friendly against Real Madrid's C side which starts at 9.30am British time. Winger Kevan Hurst could miss out with a knee problem sustained in training but Michael Timlin will definitely miss out.
BLUES are currently enjoying their second training session of the day in the warm Madrid heat. The players earlier went on a tour of Real Madrid's Bernabéu stadium and have been talking about it ever since!
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