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Britt Assombalonga gives Southend United just the tonic they craved
BRITT Assombalonga’s early header handed Southend United exactly what they needed on Saturday, three points.
The game with Wycombe Wanderers at Roots Hall was not the most exciting or entertaining.
But it mattered little as Blues lifted their spirits by deservedly triumphing 1-0 to record their first victory of the season.
The win will have put more confidence and belief back into Paul Sturrock’s side and, in truth, the final scoreline should have been far more convincing.
John Spicer wasted a fantastic chance to score at the start of the second half and Southend never looked troubled by a surprisingly poor Wycombe side.
The visitors’ lack of threat resulted in Blues securing a clean sheet and, at the other end of the field, Assombalonga again caught the eye.
The on loan Watford forward followed up his hard-working display and goal at Northampton Town with another impressive performance against the Chairboys.
The teenager tormented Wycombe’s defence with his pace and power and is starting to become a favourite with the fans, even though not many of them can pronounce his name!
Due to Assombalonga’s age and inexperience, he will improve the more he plays and Blues would do well to soon extend his loan spell from Watford before bigger clubs begin to take notice.
However, it is not just Assombalonga’s future which needs to be sorted, as boss Sturrock also still needs to resolve what is happening to both Bilel Mohsni and Ryan Hall.
Mohsni seems destined to depart but a move must soon be agreed because it is quite frankly farcical to have a cash-strapped club like Southend paying the Frenchman’s wages for him to be sat at home.
It also seems seems strange that Blues opted to reject West Ham’s offer for the defender when they finally did have the opportunity to sell.
No doubt other clubs are interested in Mohsni due to the talents he possesses but this whole situation has been going on since May and is doing nobody any favours.
Hall’s future has now also developed in to a saga after Blues quite rightly rejected Peterborough’s offer for the winger before he failed to agree terms on a switch to Blackpool late on Friday night.
With the transfer window now closed, where the former Crystal Palace trainee goes from here will be interesting to see.
Either Hall will ask to leave the club on loan with a view to a permanent move if another club expresses an interest or he will try to work his way back in to favour at Blues.
But whatever happens, he also needs to playing because he is far too good to be sat in the stands and, right now, Southend are not in a position to able to just turn their backs on such talented players.
For after Kane Ferdinand left to join Peterborough United on transfer deadline day, Sturrock has just 17 fit, senior players at his disposable.
That may be understandable and more acceptable if Blues were half way through a busy festive period but to be so short of options at the start of September is a real concern.
That is something else that must also be resolved and, although it was very pleasing that a vital victory was recorded over Wycombe at the weekend, there is still plenty of hard work to be done, both on and off the pitch.