Southend United manager Phil Brown mulls over defensive pairing for Bury clash

Mark Phillips - battling for a place in the Southend defence

Mark Phillips - battling for a place in the Southend defence

First published in Sport by

SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown is mulling over his centre-back pairing for tomorrow’s clash against Bury at Roots Hall.

Brown must decide between John Egan, Mark Phillips, Luke Prosser and Jakub Sokolik at the heart of his defence.

And he will have a look at the partnerships in training before deciding who should face the Shakers.

“It’s nice to have options at the back again and I will look at things in training before hopefully coming up with the right combination,” said Brown.

“I thought on Tuesday at Scunthorpe we saw what John Egan is all about and I don’t just mean the goal because that was a bonus.

“Jakub would’ve started if he hadn’t been stuck in traffic and he’s already got the respect of all the players with how he’s performed in training.

“He’s young and I know people will say you can’t play two youngsters together but it’s something we could look at.

“Mark Phillips would offer experience and then we need to see what kind of shape Luke Prosser is in too.”

Prosser has now returned to training after six weeks on the sidelines with a calf injury.

But Brown is not sure if the defender is ready to return to action.

“Ideally Luke might need to train for longer before coming back but he’s chomping at the bit and is an important player for us,” said the Blues boss.

“We’ve certainly missed him while he’s been out and it’s good news he’s back again now.”

The Shrimpers will be looking to get back to winning ways after 11 games without a victory.

And Brown is keen for the fans to play their part in that happening.

“It was noticeable at Scunthorpe that their fans really started to get on the backs of their players when we started the second half well and it showed us how important the supporters can be,” said Brown.

“We want our fans to remain right behind us and nothing would please me more than being able to send them home happy tomorrow.”

Blues have no new injury concerns but Freddy Eastwood is pushing for a recall after 20 successive games on the bench.

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