Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Southend United's Ben Coker: I'll bounce back from blows
SOUTHEND United’s Ben Coker has vowed to come back stronger from his nightmare fortnight.
The Shrimpers left-back gifted Scunthorpe United their goal in a 1-0 defeat at Roots Hall before being sent off at Bury on Saturday.
But Coker will not allow his head to drop, despite the recent disappointments.
“I’m actually really enjoying my football at the moment, so it’s a shame that I’m going to miss the next game suspended,” said Coker, 24.
“I was really disappointed with the second yellow card because the whistle blew as I tried to pass it to Strakes (Anthony Straker).
“That’s football unfortunately and I will just work hard in training this week and next, keep going and hopefully be back in the team for the next game I’m available for when I’ll be looking to play well.”
Before his late dismissal, which came with the Shrimpers still leading 1-0, Coker had netted his first ever goal in the Football League.
The defender curled home a fine free-kick and felt it was a great way to bounce back from the mistake he made in his previous outing against Scunthorpe when his mistimed defensive header enabled Chris Ilewumo to score.
“The goal was a great way to respond after the error against Scunthorpe,” said Coker.
“It was one of those things but I will learn from it and will make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“The lads were great and rallied around me which was really reassuring and I’ll have to make sure I come back stronger from this.
“It would also be nice to get a few more goals.”
Coker’s effort came when his free kick from the right-hand side flew past Bury goalkeeper Trevor Carson.
And the left-back revealed the goal came after plenty of practice on the training ground.
“I’ve been practicing my free kicks quite a bit and we’ve been working on set pieces too,” said Coker.
“Hursty (Kevan Hurst) just said to me ‘this is a good angle for you to have a shot’ so I did and it went in.
“It was brilliant to get my first goal for the club. It’s my first in the Football League so I was buzzing but it was just disappointing we didn’t hold on for the three points that I think we deserved.”
After Coker’s red card – which came in the 87th minute – the Shakers netted an injury-time equaliser and Blues have now not won in five matches.
But Coker is trying to remain upbeat.
“The positive from Saturday is that we ended the losing run, so now it’s all about going on an unbeaten run,” said Coker.
“I’m sure the lads can start that on Friday night against Bristol Rovers.”