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Southend United's Paul Sturrock: Discipline needs to improve
IT’S disappointing that we’ve been shown two red cards in our last two matches and I will be laying down the law to the players about this today.
We will be having a team meeting and I will again be talking about the importance of discipline.
One or two players will find that they will be getting less money in their wages than they expected after being sent off and it’s frustrating because I thought we had sorted this out.
In my first season at the football club, the suspensions we picked up hit us very hard and, at times last year, they cost us as well.
I had hoped we had learnt the lessons of that but it will be rammed home to them all today because this is a very tight league this season and it’s important to have players available.
We’re 12th in the table at the moment, three points behind the play-offs and we can’t afford to have players needlessly sat in the stands as we try to move higher up.
The suspensions mean we’re short of players but we won’t be bringing back Ryan Hall or Bilel Mohsni.
I only want players who are committed to the football club in my squad and these two aren’t.
I have read what Ryan has had to say about the situation and it’s not correct if I’m honest.
He’s made it perfectly clear that he wishes to leave and I don’t really want players around the place that will go through the motions, counting down the days until they can move.
You could see on Tuesday night against Burton that every player on that pitch was giving everything for Southend United and that is what I demand from my players.
A committed Ryan Hall just like that would be a big asset, but he’s not that at the moment.
If he was to come back with a different attitude then I would reconsider my position but I can’t see that being the case at the moment.
The same applies to Bilel who has also stated that he doesn’t wish to play for Southend again and I’m quite hopeful something will soon be sorted with regards to them moving on.
I think that’s best for all concerned but my main focus is on this weekend’s game against Barnet.
They haven’t made a very good start to the season but their performances have been much better than their results suggest.
This will be a very hard game for us tomorrow and it’s made even harder by us having battled with 10 men for 79 minutes against Burton in the week .
That will have taken its toll and I’m worried about the expectation levels of the fans who will be assuming we will win.
But we will have to work hard and play well to beat Barnet because they have some experienced players who have played at a higher level.
Hopefully some of our injured players will be back but it was a blow to have our reserve game at Witham Town abandoned due to a floodlight failure on Wednesday night.
I wanted to have a look at one or two trialists as well as some of our under 18 players but I learnt nothing because the match didn’t last long enough.
There was still time for Barry Corr to receive a couple of strong tackles which has resulted in him suffering a slight groin injury.
However, we will look to arrange more of these matches because I feel they’re of benefit to everyone involved.