Southend United's Luke Prosser: New look defence can maintain push for promotion

Echo: Luke Prosser - has now scored three times for Southend United this season Luke Prosser - has now scored three times for Southend United this season

SOUTHEND United’s Luke Prosser insists his defensive partnership with Mark Phillips can maintain the club’s push for promotion.

Blues were dealt a huge blow last weekend when the impressive Rob Kiernan was recalled from a loan spell at Roots Hall by his parent club Wigan Athletic.

But Prosser, who scored in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Accrington Stanley, is sure the Shrimpers can still remain towards the top of the League Two table.

“We’re obviously gutted to lose Rob because he’s been fantastic but I’ve played with Phillo plenty of times before so it’s not a problem at all,” said Prosser.

“We have a good understanding and I enjoy playing next to him so I’m sure we can do well together and help us get more results.

“We all wish Rob well and I’m sure he will go on to play at a higher level but we need to try and keep the good defensive record we’ve got going.”

Sixth placed Southend return to action on New Year’s Day when they host Portsmouth at Roots Hall.

And Prosser feels it a huge game for his side.

“After dropping points at Accrington this is a massive match for us now and one I think we really need to win,” said the centre-back.

“If we get the three points then it makes it seven from nine from the three Christmas games and that’s not a bad return.

“It would also make the draw at Accrington not so bad but we’re all disappointed not to have won the game still right now.”

Blues went behind at Accrington when Phillips put the ball past his own goalkeeper.

But Prosser was able to rescue a share of the spoils with his third goal of the season.

And that now represents his best ever season in front of goal.

“I’m pleased to have got the goals and hopefully I can get a few more now,” said Prosser.

“It didn’t really matter who got the goal at Accrington, we just needed to get back in to the game.

“We were unlucky not to win and their goalkeeper was man of the match which says a lot.

“But we only really seemed to start playing after going a goal behind and we will need to be playing well right from the start when we play against Portsmouth.”

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