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Southend United manager Paul Sturrock dreams of reaching first ever Wembley final
SOUTHEND United manager Paul Sturrock is starting to dream of his first ever game in charge at Wembley.
The Blues boss takes his team to League One Leyton Orient for the first leg of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern section final tonight.
And an aggregate victory would hand Sturrock, who has been a manager for 20 years and 877 games, his first ever appearance at the home of English football.
“I haven’t had much success in cup competitions during the years so it would be nice to be able to change that and have it on my CV,” said Sturrock.
“I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a few highs in my career and taking Sheffield Wednesday up through the play-offs would probably be the highest.
“But that final was at the Millennium Stadium so I’ve never managed a team at Wembley.
“Getting to do that would be right up there with anything else I’ve experienced but it will be a tough task to get there as we’re playing a very good Leyton Orient side.”
Tonight’s clash, which is being shown live on Sky Sports, will also be Sturrock’s 150th in charge of Southend.
However, he feels it will be hard to progress past an Orient side managed by Russell Slade.
“Orient have a very good manager who is tactically very aware and it will be hard to beat them,” said Sturrock.
“They’ve had some good results in the last few weeks as well so they will be confident heading in to the tie.
“But it’s important to remember that the tie is over two legs.
“We can’t win it tonight but could lose it if we aren’t careful so we have to make thoughtful in our approach to the game and make sure we’re very solid.”
Blues fans have already snapped up 1,600 tickets for the game at Brisbane Road and Sturrock hopes to be able to reward their loyalty.
“The supporters have been fantastic this season but they’ve been on a real rollercoaster ride following this following club in the past few years,” said Sturrock.
“It would be brilliant to give them a day out at Wembley and we will be doing our all to try and make that happen.”
The second leg of the southern section final will be at Roots Hall on either Tuesday February 19 or Wednesday 20, depending on if the game is selected to be shown on Sky Sports.