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Southend United manager Phil Brown: Our home form will determine play-off push
WE HAVE six matches left at Roots Hall this season and I think they are going to determine where we’re going to end up.
We have four games away from home which all require long journeys.
And, while we will prepare properly for them, I do think it is our home form which will have a huge say on our final position.
Saturday’s game with Bury is now a massive match but we’re going in to it in good spirits after fighting back for a 2-2 draw at Scunthorpe on Tuesday night.
Scunthorpe were better than us in the first half and could’ve been out of sight in the first 45 minutes if we’re honest.
But we came back superbly in the second period and could even have won it in the end.
It was great to see as well because I had been analysing everything in the build up to the game including the team’s fitness and whether or not we had been training the players hard enough.
I was worried that we seemed to be fading away in the second half of matches but we certainly didn’t look an unfit side on Tuesday and we need to see more of that form now, starting with the Bury game this weekend.
JOHN WHITE GOALS COULD BE LIKE LONDON BUSES
I DIDN’T realise John White had gone 301 games without scoring before he got a goal at Scunthorpe on Tuesday and I found it quite alarming.
I was a defender myself but managed to average a goal every 12 or 13 games and John is someone who does get forward so he should get a few more.
I actually think it will be like London Buses for him now and he could soon score again.
It was also great for John Egan to score and what a strike that one was.
The statistics we get back from the games show how good John is at making interceptions and he did that in the build up for his goal which got us back in to the game.
PLEASED FOR MARC LAIRD AND CONOR CLIFFORD
I BROUGHT Marc Laird and Conor Clifford back in for the Scunthorpe game and was more than surprised by how they performed.
They hadn’t had too many games lately so it was going to be tough for them coming back in.
But I thought they showed their true colours and real determination.
Ryan Leonard produced another faultless display in midfield too and they all did a great job in there for us.
Michael Timlin and Anthony Straker were obviously disappointed to miss out but they responded well when they came on.
TIME FOR FREDDY EASTWOOD TO START?
FREDDY Eastwood coming on was the catalyst for our comeback at Scunthorpe but my hand was turned by the referee if I’m being honest.
He seemed to be after Barry Corr so I made the change before Barry was sent off and I thought Freddy made a huge difference.
Freddy came in yesterday and we wrapped him up in cotton wool but if we see the bright, fit, sharp, young looking Freddy again in training for the rest of the week then he has a great chance of starting against Bury.
Freddy holds the ball up well but we might have to tinker with the formation if we bring him back in.
And the other players might have to play the ball up to him with better quality but it would definitely be a nice challenge for them.
PLEASED TO SEE CAULEY WOODROW MAKE PREMIER LEAGUE DEBUT
IT WAS absolutely fantastic that Cauley Woodrow made his Premier League debut for Fulham at the weekend.
He text me before the game and said he was in the squad but wasn’t sure whether or not he would play.
I was delighted he got the chance because, from his loan spell with us earlier on in the season, we all know how hard he works on his game.
FULL COLUMN IN THURSDAY'S ECHO