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Southend United manager Phil Brown: We've mixed it up after Bristol Rovers draw
WE’VE tried a different approach this week and have changed the routine to freshen things up for the players.
I actually gave them the weekend off to think over the 1-1 draw we had against Bristol Rovers on Friday night before really blasting them in training on Monday.
On Tuesday I then made the decision to take a full-strength squad to Colchester for the behind-closed-doors friendly we had against them.
It might sound strange, but one of the main reasons for doing it was that I wanted to actually be able to hear what was being said among my players during games.
I wanted to know what was being said, who was making the decision, who was barking out orders and who was being quiet.
It was therefore a very worthwhile exercise and something we certainly got a lot out of.
We started off with Paul Smith, John White, Adam Thompson, Luke Prosser, Ben Coker, Kevan Hurst, Conor Clifford, Gomis Bedsente, Michael Timlin, Craig Reid and Cauley Woodrow all playing.
Barry Corr, Anthony Straker and Jack Payne all came off the bench and I was pleased with how it went.
Cauley was very impressive and so was Craig (Reid). He’s had a frustrating start to his time with the football club and has been disappointed not to have had more opportunities to play.
My door is always open for any player, I never hide and have had many chats with Craig since the start of the season.
He’s been wanting to know when his chance will come and if he doesn’t start on Saturday at Oxford then he definitely will in our Johnstone’s Paint Trophy match against Dagenham & Redbridge.
From there it is up to him to show what he can do but he worked incredibly hard in the game we had against Colchester and I was pleased by his performance.
Conor (Clifford) also did well and it was good for Michael Timlin to get another 90 minutes under his belt.
We have to remember that Tims was originally not due back until October/November time so he’s very much still ahead of schedule.
But I just think he needs to come through that one crunching tackle for him to be psychologically ready to play League Two football on a regular basis once again.
LITTLE JACK'S BIG HEARTED
IF ONE player deserved a special mention from the Bristol Rovers game then I think it was Jack Payne.
He was the smallest player on the pitch but he has the biggest heart and that’s the best way to sum Jack up for me.
He was keen to get on the ball, he showed lots of energy and I think the level of his performance is testimony to all the good work the youth department do at this football club.
FULL COLUMN IN THURSDAY'S ECHO