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Southend United's Phil Brown: Eager to get back to winning ways against Morecambe
AFTER two successive 2-1 defeats it’s time to get our season back on track this weekend and it’s time to get the club’s first victory against Morecambe as well.
I understand it’s six games without a win for the club against Morecambe and I’m part of that record as they beat us 1-0 on the final day of last season at Roots Hall.
I remember that game vividly and it’s something we want to put right.
Being from the north-west of the country I crossed swords with their manager Jim Bentley on a few occasions and he’s a very driven and determined man.
His sides also have those qualities and we’re going to have to be able to match them physically if we are going to come out on top.
We did that in the game against Northampton and we’re going to have to do the same against Morecambe now.
We’re going in to it on the back of losing at Wycombe and we could make one or two changes to the team.
I would say Kevan Hurst is now not just tapping on my door but banging on it very hard.
With the season he had last season and the creativity qualities he possesses he could be time for him to step up on Saturday and Michael Timlin is now also close to being right back in contention as well.
He hasn’t started a game since I came to the club because of the broken leg he suffered but he’s certainly there or thereabouts again after playing in a few behind closed doors friendlies.
The latest of those came at Oxford on Tuesday and a very good game ended in a 2-2 draw.
Graham Coughlan has been able to arrange eight or nine of these games for us already this season and they’re going to be hugely beneficial.
It gives the young players not currently involved in the first team a chance to play and also a few of the lads trying to keep their fitness up.
Paul Smith was unfortunately not able to play at Oxford because of a family bereavement and Luke Chambers was therefore in goal.
But we played well and you’re able to have some control of those games which meant their goalkeeper was not sent off when he brought down Jack Payne for a penalty.
Had it been a league game then he would certainly been red carded but these games are for the development of the players and there’s no point in him going off.
We probably would’ve won the game had they gone down to 10 men but I think we ended up getting more from the match with them still having 11.
Ryan Auger, Josh Banton and Jack Edwards all played well, along with Jack Payne, and I don’t think those three lads are far away from making their league debuts now.
MARK PHILLIPS HAS BEEN MISSED IN DEFENCE
YOU often notice the true importance of a player when they’re not in the team and that has been the case with Mark Phillips since he was forced out with a groin injury.
We’ve lost two of the three games he’s been ruled out of and hopefully he’ll be back for Saturday’s game because he’s certainly be missed.
I’ve read with interest people saying we need to bring in a defender and we do still have one more space free in our squad.
But during September we have four games in four weeks and I think the squad we have right now can cope with that.
After that, we may look at things again as the fixtures list start to get busier from October to January and it could well be that we look to bring in a centre back or another defender at that stage.
However, you can never tell what is going to happen and by then circumstances might have changed and we might need to strengthen in other areas.
CAULEY SIGNS, DON DEPARTS
TRANSFER deadline day passed with us bringing in Cauley Woodrow and releasing Don Cowan.
Fulham paid a lot of money for Cauley when he was a kid and I’m looking forward to working with him.
His energy levels will boost us as a team and he has real quality and belief in his ability.
He will also definitely score goals if we can get the right kind of service to him.
Unfortunately, Don picked up a thigh injury which meant he would have been out for at least a fortnight.
But he’s a fantastic lad who acquitted himself superbly during his time with us and I wish him all the very best for the future.
FULL COLUMN IN THURSDAY'S ECHO