SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has labelled this Saturday’s crunch League Two clash with Chesterfield as bigger than the forthcoming FA Cup tie with Premier League side Hull City.
The fifth-placed Shrimpers host the Spireites, who are third in the table, at Roots Hall this weekend.
And Brown feels the game is more of a priority than the cup tie against his former side the following Saturday.
“For me the game against Chesterfield has to be bigger than Hull City in the fact that the priority is, and always has been, promotion this season,” said Brown.
“The cup is an added bonus that we will all enjoy next weekend “But this is more important and it should be a good game too.
“Chesterfield are one of the top sides in this division and the two games we’ve had against them so far have been very good footballing ones.
“We both try to get the ball down and play good football and we’re getting the rewards.
“I’m sure Saturday will be entertaining and I think that home advantage can play a huge part in the game.”
Brown is therefore hoping for a big crowd at Roots Hall, similar in size to the matches against York City and Portsmouth which the Shrimpers won 2-1.
More than 9,000 fans saw Blues beat the Minstermen while close to 8,000 came to the clash with Pompey and Brown wants more of the same this weekend.
“The two league games that stand out for me so far this season at Roots Hall have been the York City game and the Portsmouth match on New Year’s Day,” said Brown.
“We had two fantastic crowds for both of those games and the fans played a massive part in helping us get the winning goals in stoppage time.
“That’s the kind of atmosphere we need for every game between now and the end of the season in the league, starting with Saturday I hope.”