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Southend United manager Phil Brown: Response to Torquay defeat has been great
IT goes without saying that we’re obviously still very disappointed by our defeat at Torquay United, but the response of the players since then has been excellent in training.
The group have been very bubbly and full of energy and we have a really good spirit.
And we will certainly need that during the matches we have coming up.
Added to that, we need as many people available as possible.
So I am happy to say we now have Ryan Leonard, Freddy Eastwood, Will Atkinson and Cauley Woodrow all back in contention.
Fresh minds will be just as important as fresh legs and Rochdale will represent a stern test for us tomorrow.
We need to learn lessons from the defeat to Torquay and that type of pitch, now the weather has started to turn.
We will have to adjust to that in training and in our games and I just hope that Roots Hall can hold up because we want to keep on being able to play some good football.
Saturday wasn’t like that and we went route one too early in what were difficult conditions, but we still had the chances to get something from the game.
But we’ve lost once in eight games so we can’t get too down about it and now we want to get another good run going, starting with the Rochdale game tomorrow.
CRAIG REID'S READY FOR RECALL
I DECIDED to leave Craig Reid out of the squad for Saturday’s game at Torquay and he’s someone who I’ve had plenty of chats with about him not being in the team.
At the weekend it came down to either him or Jack Payne being on the bench and, in the end, I went for Jack as I thought he would bring something a bit different to the squad.
That’s the way it proved as well because when Jack came on I thought he did well and got us playing with the ball on the ground, which is what we needed to happen.
That’s what I explained to Craig as well and his response has been excellent.
He certainly hasn’t downed tools or anything like that and he has been working hard in training, doing all of the extra sessions we’ve put on too, so he’s is my thinking again for the game tomorrow.
HOSPITAL VISIT STRUCK CHORD
WE took time out from training this week to hand out Christmas presents in the childrens’ ward at Southend Hospital and it was a very humbling experience.
I know it’s a cliché but it really was a great leveller and it put everything else into perspective.
Sadly, there are people suffering in the world and it was sad to see the children who will be in hospital this weekend.
I bumped in to former Southend defender Shane Westley while I was there and both his children are in there at the moment.
I wish them and everyone else we met in there the very best and, as a father myself, it really struck a chord with me.
Something like that could happen to any of us at some stage but it was lovely to be able to take the whole first team squad to the hospital and I hope we were able to brighten their day in some way.
FULL COLUMN IN THURSDAY'S ECHO