Southend United manager Phil Brown: Easter is going to be huge for us

Phil Brown - ready for a big weekend with Southend UNited

Phil Brown - ready for a big weekend with Southend UNited

First published in Sport by

THE Christmas and Easter periods are always crucially important and this weekend is certainly a huge one for us.

We play Rochdale tomorrow in what is obviously going to be a very difficult game and then we take on Accrington on Monday, who will also be hard to play against.

Rochdale are currently just a point off the top of the table so they could well be champions elect and it was at their place last season when I realised things really had to change here.

It was the first game after we had lost at Wembley in the final of the JPT and they beat us 4-2.

Barry Corr could’ve had a hat-trick on the night but, even if he had got one, we still would’ve lost.

That’s when I knew the group didn’t have the right mentality and we’ve worked hard to change that.

We’re in the play-off positions right now and that’s where we want to stay.

With that in mind, it was obviously disappointing to lose against AFC Wimble-don but the statistics from the game were still quite encouraging.

We had 27 shots, eight of which were blocked, and managed to get 26 crosses into the box.

When you consider that on average a goal is scored from every nine crosses in League Two, it was unbelievable that we weren’t able to hit the back of the net.

JOHN EGAN GOAL GETS MY VOTE

VOTING is underway for the club’s goal of the season competition and there are actually a few contenders.

John Egan’s magical strike at Scunthorpe United immediately springs to mind and that would probably get my vote, but there are other good goals that I can think of too.

I remember the fantastic cross-field pass Luke O’Neill played into the path of Anthony Straker, who then set up Kevan Hurst against Chesterfield at home.

And Hursty also scored a very good goal at their place in the FA Cup.

In the build up to that one, Anthony Straker produced a piece of skill that was Messi like but I think John will win it and deservedly so because it was a hell of a goal.

GREAT DAY WITH THE TIGERS

I WAS at Wembley for Hull’s FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

If I’m being honest I didn’t enjoy the first half as much because Hull were certainly second best as Sheffield United were on top.

But Hull came back strongly and I was lucky enough to celebrate with some of their fans after the game.

Full credit to Steve Bruce, his backroom team and the players because I think Hull are having their best ever season.

And, having obviously been the manager there myself in the past, I will certainly be back for the final at  Wembley and I look forward to there being a huge contingent of travelling Hull fans.

There were 35,000 there on Sunday because 5,000 sent their tickets back as they were waiting for the final.

It seemed a risky thing to do but they’ve got their big day now and I’m sure they will make the most of it.

CONGRATULATIONS TO LUTON

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone at Luton Town for winning promotion from the National Conference.

They have spent five years out of the Football League but they’re a big club and John Still and his players deserve a lot of credit for what they have achieved.

I just hope we don’t play them next season because we have our sights set on being in League One.

NEW BEN COKER DEAL IS GREAT NEWS

I THINK it’s fantastic news that we’ve been able to extend Ben Coker’s contract at the club.

Having watched the DVD of the Wimbledon game again Ben seemed unusually erratic and quite nervy.

It was almost as though he had lost a bit of focus, which was strange because he’s certainly been one of our best and most consistent players this season.

I hope the new deal can give him a boost at just the right time during our run-in and I’d like to thank the chairman and the chief executive for making it happen.

We’re chatting to one of two other players about contracts but there’s a week in May when I will be sitting down with the players who are going to be out of contract and telling them if they’re going to be here next season or not.

Comments (4)

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5:00pm Thu 17 Apr 14

southend loser says...

You have to win to be a success ,not talk about it.
I cannot see too much joy at Rochdale and god only knows against Accrington,probably another defeat.
You can all mark me down if you wish,it is just how I see it
You have to win to be a success ,not talk about it. I cannot see too much joy at Rochdale and god only knows against Accrington,probably another defeat. You can all mark me down if you wish,it is just how I see it southend loser
  • Score: -1

6:18pm Thu 17 Apr 14

gary 51 says...

Too much to do with four games, the season was lost with the wretched run after the Hull game.
I cannot see wins at the away games Rochdale or Fleetwood unless we have a miracle and a turn of fortune as regards to a performance.
Strike power once again will be the problem, but hey go out and prove us wrong!
Too much to do with four games, the season was lost with the wretched run after the Hull game. I cannot see wins at the away games Rochdale or Fleetwood unless we have a miracle and a turn of fortune as regards to a performance. Strike power once again will be the problem, but hey go out and prove us wrong! gary 51
  • Score: -1

11:07pm Thu 17 Apr 14

TheEssexWay says...

Hey guys funny things have happened in football this season, look at the Premiership lately for example, who would have bet on Sunderland drawing with Man City and even took the lead! Also Palace beating Everton away? We're not the only ones to have dropped points lately, look at Oxford who were 9 points above us not so long ago and then they go and beat Plymouth away last week! Plus Torquay and Northampton both won their respective games whilst rock botom. Fingers crossed anyway and let's hope we can at least stay in the play-offs!
Hey guys funny things have happened in football this season, look at the Premiership lately for example, who would have bet on Sunderland drawing with Man City and even took the lead! Also Palace beating Everton away? We're not the only ones to have dropped points lately, look at Oxford who were 9 points above us not so long ago and then they go and beat Plymouth away last week! Plus Torquay and Northampton both won their respective games whilst rock botom. Fingers crossed anyway and let's hope we can at least stay in the play-offs! TheEssexWay
  • Score: 0

11:11pm Thu 17 Apr 14

TheEssexWay says...

p.s. Oxford and York are both playing each other tomorrow and Plymouth are away at Bury who have been in good form lately and Oxford have got Scunthorpe away on Monday, remember they have got to win to go above us even if we lose!
p.s. Oxford and York are both playing each other tomorrow and Plymouth are away at Bury who have been in good form lately and Oxford have got Scunthorpe away on Monday, remember they have got to win to go above us even if we lose! TheEssexWay
  • Score: 0
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