Paul Sturrock facing split allegiances when Southend United take on Plymouth Argyle

Paul Sturrock - will be watching tomorrow's game at Home Park

Paul Sturrock - will be watching tomorrow's game at Home Park

First published in Sport by

PAUL Sturrock will be watching tomorrow’s battle between his two former teams at Home Park.

But he has yet to make his mind up where to sit in the stadium.

The Scotsman enjoyed spells in charge of both Southend United and Plymouth Argyle.

And he is looking forward to seeing them go head to head tomorrow.

“I think I’ll be coming at the game but my biggest dilemma is deciding where to sit,” said Sturrock, who now lives back in Cornwall.

“I have three options. I can sit in the boardroom, in with the Plymouth fans or in with the Southend fans and I’m not quite sure which one to take at this stage.

“I definitely won’t be wearing a kilt this time though.”

Sturrock, who wore the traditional Scottish attire to watch Southend in the JPT final at Wembley in April 2013, is still looking to get back in to the game after being dismissed by the Shrimpers on the eve of that game against Crewe.

However, he holds mostly happy memories from his spell at Roots Hall and is looking forward to seeing several of his ex players in action for them this weekend.

“Daniel Bentley, Ryan Leonard and Luke Prosser have all learnt their trade now and it will be great to see them play again,” said Sturrock.

“Kevan Hurst will always be a big player for the team and so will Barry Corr.

“He pretty much guarantees you 15 goals a season and if Southend are to be successful this year then Barry will be hugely influential.

“I’m sure Michael Timlin would be as well and him being injured is a big blow for the team.

“But overall I enjoyed my time there, it’s a nice club – just like Plymouth.”

Sturrock took over at Roots Hall from Steve Tilson in July 2010 with the club in turmoil.

The Scotsman inherited a squad of just five players and remains proud of the rebuilding job he did with the Shrimpers.

“The first year was obviously difficult and we had to sign 17 players in quite a short space of time just before the season got underway,” recalled Sturrock.

“To go from that to finishing 13th was a good achievement.

“The following season we were very close to going up but injuries cost us towards the end.

“Michael Timlin, Liam Dickinson, JP Kalala and Mark Phillips were all forced out but the play-off game we had with Crewe could still have gone either way.

“I remember Tims hit the woodwork with a shot in the second leg and if that had gone in then maybe things could have worked out differently but it wasn’t to be.”

Sturrock did not see out the following season but he still became the first ever Blues boss to guide the club to a Wembley final by beating Leyton Orient in the southern section final of the JPT Trophy.

However, that memorable run came at a cost and hit the Shrimpers’ league form.

“The JPT was great but, looking back, I do think it affected us in the league,” said Sturrock.

“We also had a load more injuries but when I lost my job we were still ninth in the table, we were in touching distance of the play-offs and had made a Wembley final so it wasn’t too bad.”

Prior to his stint with the Shrimpers, Sturrock had secured great success with Plymouth.

He took over when the Pilgrims were second from bottom in the fourth tier and guided them up in to the Championship.

His second spell at Home Park, which came following stints in charge of Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town, did not go quite as well.

But he watched them both this season and last and feels the form of striker Reuben Reid will go a long way in deciding the outcome of Saturday’s game.

“The boy Reid is playing well, he’s lost a lot of weight and he’s scoring goals,” said Sturrock.

“He’s as a strong an ox, he’s quick and how Southend’s defender s deal with him will be key to this game.”

Comments (2)

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11:17am Fri 29 Aug 14

JoeBlogs2 says...

PAUL Sturrock is a Southend united FC Legend :-) !!!
PAUL Sturrock is a Southend united FC Legend :-) !!! JoeBlogs2
  • Score: 1

10:48pm Fri 29 Aug 14

gary 51 says...

Is that all the Echo can talk about is where a previous manager wants to sit in the ground.
F* quality
Is that all the Echo can talk about is where a previous manager wants to sit in the ground. F* quality gary 51
  • Score: 0
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