SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has backed goal-getting midfielder Anthony Wordsworth to enjoy a successful end to the season.
Wordsworth, who has netted 10 goals this term, has been criticised by sections of the Shrimpers support on social media in recent weeks.
But Brown remains convinced the 28-year-old will play a big part in Blues’ play-off push during their remaining nine matches.
“If Woody has been getting stick then you just have to reply by saying he’s scored double figures from midfield,” said Brown.
“It’s a simple enough analogy of his game and Woody’s a big player for us at both ends.
“He puts his head in in both six yard boxes and he gets through a lot of unknown and unnoticed work which I notice.
“It’s my job to notice and he still has goals in him between now and the end of the season.”
Wordsworth has become the first Blues central midfielder since Nicky Bailey in the 2007/08 season to reach double figures in front of goal.
However, that has not stopped the midfielder getting stick online.
And Brown remains unconvinced by the merits of social media.
“I don’t subscribe to social media,” said Brown.
“Any empty head can spill out a load of rubbish on there.
“I’m sure you get snippets of good information as well.
“But if you put yourself on there then you have to take the rough with the smooth, hence the reason I’m not on it as being a manager there’s definitely more rough than smooth.
“Two seasons ago I saw what it did to Dan Bentley.
“He let in a goal at Shrewsbury and his game went out the window for three or four games after he was criticised.
“But Woody is an older head than Dan was back then and he’s an important player to us in the same way as Ryan Leonard is.”
Wordsworth has started the last 21 games for the Shrimpers and has made a total of 32 appearances this term, his highest amount since playing 34 times during the 2012/13 campaign which saw him line up for both Colchester United and Ipswich Town.