By Jamie Forsyth, co-editor of All At Sea fanzine

BEING pre-season favourites doesn’t necessarily work in your favour, but the media is starting to sit up and take notice of the squad Phil Brown is moulding at Roots Hall.

Last week’s win at Accrington was hard-fought but deserved.

However, as Stanley boss James Beattie noted, Southend could not break down their hosts from open play and there will be a lot more afternoons this season where the opposition, wary of our reputation as one of the sides to beat, will be happy to set up two banks of four and let us try and break them down.

From the evidence so far, the problem of penetrating these types of sides has not gone away for Brown.

But a huge bonus from the first two matches of the season is the depth of the squad available to Brown.

In a 46-game season, there will be plenty of opportunities for those left out of the starting line-up early on.

Jack Payne was one of those who shone when given his opportunity on Tuesday night.

Brown may have had doubts over whether the diminutive midfielder was ready for regular League Two football but surely those doubts have been erased after his starring display against Walsall.

It is the club with the most strength in depth that will win the war of attrition that is a League Two season.

Early signs are that this year’s Southend side is stronger than last and, with that in mind, fans should expect nothing less than an assault on the title this season.

Perhaps a championship win will make it more difficult for councillor Ron Woodley to forget who Southend United are, after he apologised in the Echo to West Ham fans for a Spurs shop opening in Southend.

Maybe councillor Woodley would enjoy a trip down to Roots Hall – although he’d probably need to brush up on his geography skills to find it!

>The All At Sea fanzine is celebrating both its 10th birthday and 50th issue. It’s coming out on Saturday and will be on sale in Victoria Avenue and Shakespeare Drive, priced at £1.

It is also available to buy online at