Southend United manager Paul Sturrock: Lets succeed where Arsenal failed

Paul Sturrock - takes control of his team against Bradford City tomorrow

Paul Sturrock - takes control of his team against Bradford City tomorrow

First published in Blues by

SOUTHEND United manager Paul Sturrock wants his side to succeed where Arsenal failed by beating Bradford City at Roots Hall tomorrow.

The in form Bantams pulled off a shock Capital One Cup triumph against the Gunners on Tuesday night.

But Sturrock, who is expected to be named League Two manager of the month for November today, is keen to bring them crashing back down to earth this weekend.

“Bradford had an unbelievable result in the week but hopefully we can get the better of them,” said Sturrock.

“I've had a look at the statistics and I think Arsenal had 65 per cent of the possession and 31 shots compared to Bradford's four but that's to be expected when a League Two team plays such a strong side from the Premier League.

“They deserve real credit for digging in to get a result but we're in good form too and it's a huge game for both teams this weekend.”

Blues go in to the match unbeaten in their last 11 games, sitting sixth in the League Two table.

But Bradford are currently fourth and Sturrock is expecting an entertaining encounter, which he hopes will be watched by a big Roots Hall crowd.

“Both teams are in very good form and it should make for a good match so hopefully the crowds will come out to watch it,” said the Scotsman.

“The more fans we have right behind us the better and the noise they've been making recently has really been helping us so hopefully that can carry on.”

Blues will be strengthened by the return of top goalscorer Britt Assombalonga and influential midfielder Tamika Mkandawire after the loan duo were both denied permission to play in Tuesday's FA Cup replay against Bury by their parent clubs.

Centre-back Mark Phillips is again expected to miss out with a knee problem but goalkeeper Paul Smith could be available again after recovering from a back problem.

And that will leave Sturrock with a tough decision to make after Daniel Bentley impressed between the sticks against Bury.

“Paul is getting better and should be doing a bit of training today so it leaves me with a tough call to make and I will be taking plenty of time deciding what to do,” said Sturrock.

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