Southend United manager Paul Sturrock: I wish it was a league game but we take the cups just as seriously (From Echo)
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Southend United manager Paul Sturrock: I wish it was a league game but we take the cups just as seriously
I’D MUCH prefer us to be playing in the league tomorrow as we want to get back on the rails after two successive defeats.
But we take the cup competitions very seriously at the football club and it’s an opportunity for us to bring funds in.
These next two games could be quite lucrative if we win but they’re both going to be very difficult indeed.
Up first are Brentford in the third round of the FA Cup tomorrow and they’re on a hell of a run at the moment.
They’re very much part of the promotion race to get in to the Championships and the bookies will have them as favourites for the tie at Roots Hall.
I know we’ve beaten them before this season in the JPT but this will be far tougher as there were five or six players who weren’t part of their team that night who will be playing tomorrow.
But my boys are smarting from the two back to back defeats we’ve had and I’m hoping for a reaction.
I think we can take confidence from the way we played in the second half against a very good Gillingham team on Tuesday but we’re ready for what we will be a very big test.
The game after that at Oxford in the JPT will also be tough as they’re starting to find some real form at the moment.
They’ve won their last four games and haven’t lost in their last 10 outings but that’s another match we would love to win because it would get us through to the area final of the competition.
That’s only one round away from Wembley and I’m sure everyone at the football club would welcome the opportunity to play there.
The January transfer window is now open as well so it’s a busy time of year.
Tamika Mkandawire has gone back to Millwall and he did a fantastic job for us.
I didn’t think his last couple of games were his best but he reads the game fantastically well and did a good job helping both the defence and the midfield.
We will miss him but he’s talking to Millwall about his future and we’re still in talks with them about bringing him back.
We’re not sure what’s going to happen but I have a list of three or four other players who I feel could do a job in that position and I will be making calls to see if they’re available.
Hopefully we’ll be able to sort everything out with Marc Laird and I will be holding talks with Scott Donnelly too, whose loan spell with us has already expired.
He can’t play in the FA Cup or the JPT because he’s already played for Aldershot in both of those competitions.
I thought he did well when he came on against Gillingham though and will definitely be having discussions with him to see how he feels about things.
But I do think we need to try and get rid of a few players from our squad who are on the periphery of things here and should be playing in someone’s first team.
One player who won’t be staying in our squad is Bilel Mohsni.
As a registered player we offered him our facilities to come in and train and after his loan spell with Ipswich Town ended.
However, Bilel decided to turn down our offer.