ALL the questions and answers from Sol Campbell's first press conference as manager of Southend United.

You’ve been in the job a couple of days. How have you been finding it?

“There’s lots to do that’s for sure. When you get a new job you have to find your feet and find what’s happening in the club.

"That’s normal really and there’s a lot of rushing around and late nights.”

What are your priorities here?

“To slow down the goal count against us is one of the first things I have to look at. The goal difference is getting bigger and bigger and we have to slow that down.

"It’s not just the backline, it’s the whole team and how it’s structured. We have to look at starting positions and everything.”

When you watched the game on Tuesday night did you wonder what you were getting yourself in to?

“I don’t think it showed the team in a true light. Once you get the red cards the game is done.

"The lads were all over the place and Doncaster were keeping the ball well.

"It was over as a contest and I don’t think that game was a true reflection of the team really.”


New boss - Sol Campbell

How is morale?

“I’ve got to build that up and we can definitely do that with how we set up and by getting fitter.

"Understanding the roles is very important for all the players and getting fitter and stronger.

"As you get stronger in your own position the confidence will come from there.

"We need to start winning games and start being competitive. That’s the main thing. Every time we go out onto the pitch we have to compete."

You’ve had a lot of challenges in your career. Where does this rank?

“It’s a new challenge. It’s a step up and that comes with responsibilities. It’s a higher level so you have to step your game up. We’ve got to step up, train hard and do more.

"We have to over-achieve really. We’ve got to close the deficit and the performances have to go up another level. It will take time but we will work hard.”

You did a good job at Macclesfield. How much will you draw on that experience here?

“You can take all the experiences. The good, the bad and the ugly but for me it’s all about moving on and progressing and improving as a manager.

"This is a big challenge but we have some good players here.

"We need to start working together and be competitive because that’s the main thing. We’ve got to be able to compete.”

How do you look at your first three matches?

“I watched Ipswich last night but it’s all good. They play good football and we will have our work cut out against them.

"We need to step up our game and compete.

"Hopefully the team can respond and start on a good footing but that’s down to me.

"It’s a tough start with Ipswich, then Sunderland who are a huge club with great resources.

"After that it’s Portsmouth, who I know inside out. We have some tough outings but the lads should be relishing the challenge.

"We have to be up for it and go for it in every single game. From there the confidence starts building.

"If you’re going into games at 70 or 80 per cent you’ll never know your true level. You have to push yourself. You have to get better and fitter. We have to do that as a team.

"We’ve got our work cut out but we’re ready for the challenge.”


Facing a tough task - Sol Campbell

Where should the club be?

“We shouldn’t be down here but we are.

"When you look at it from last season to this season it’s been pretty tough for whatever reason.

"I’m here now to turn it around and get us to where we should be, which is higher up the league.

"We’ve got to work towards that and the League doesn’t lie.

"The lads have to realise it’s real, tough football.

"You have to put it in as players and see how far you can go.

"I’ll push them and there will be no more sloppiness around here. It’s going to be proper football and realising we’re in a situation.

"We’ve got enough games to get out of it but we’ve got to start now. Every game and every training session is precious.”

Are you optimistic about moving forward?

“I can get the players out of this situation but I don’t know about other situations.

"That’s me and my remit is to get these guys working together.

"Get them scoring goals, defending, enjoying football again and having banter.

"All those elements have to be there.

"Everytime you go out there you have to want to play football.

"You’re not here to pass time. You’re here to work and we have to be concentrated on what’s in hand. We have to over-achieve. We haven’t got time to dilly-dally.”

Is that what you’ve told the players?

“They know the situation.

"There’s enough games but you can’t keep letting them go by.

"We don’t want to be sleep-walking into a fight in the final five games.

"We’ve got to give it our all now and keep us going.”


Taking control - Sol Campbell

How do you make the players believe they can get out of this situation?

“You’ve got to give them some type of hope and belief.

"They also have to be well drilled and that comes from training and demanding more.

"The guys haven’t been training at their proper capacity, there’s a lot left in the tank.

"There’s some good players but we have to get back together and get back to basics.

"We have to enjoy it too and we have to enjoy working hard.

"If you're not stretching yourself in training then come Saturday you’re going to be short.

"That’s what I want them to believe.

"I want them to know they’re better than they are now.

"Once we get into the groove, get a routine and get into our starting positions and the mentality – which is key – we’ll be able to push on. The main thing is being able to compete.”

Southend have the worst defensive record. Is your defensive prowess something you pride yourself on in management?

“The main thing is winning.

"We can’t hold back and try to hold out, then lose 1-0.

"We have to control games, stretch the other teams and score goals.

"Every point is precious and I have to make sure the guys realise there are enough games for us to get out of this but we can’t let games go by.

"We have to stop leaking goals but we have to put other teams under pressure.

"We have to give teams problems and we’re not really testing teams. That’s what we have to do.”

Is this a good time to play Ipswich after their defeats?

“Ipswich are a fantastic side and they’re up there because they have good players.

"We will have to go at them and play our best game.

"We’re on a different level now and we’re building up.

"We’ve got to get our confidence up.

"We have to battle and get in their faces.

"That’s where we are.

"Yes, they’re having a little sticky patch but they’ve still got good players and confidence.

"We’ve got to go for it and that’s all we can do really. We can’t put the handbreak on.

"We have to push ourselves and see how far we can go.”


In the Roots Hall hotseat - Sol Campbell

Do you see this as a similar test to the one you had at Macclesfield?

“I have to look at it.

"The confidence, the fitness but for me it’s about getting everyone back together again.

"We need everyone buying in to what I’m trying to do.

"We need them believing they can get better, listening and pushing themselves.

"We all need to pull in the right direction.

"It’s basics but sometimes you’d be surprised how many of these things go out the window.

"They think they’re insignificant but if you let one thing go another one goes and then all of a sudden it falls apart and you get used to how it is.

"But then someone comes in and says this is not how it should be.

"We’ve got to change a lot of stuff. We need to be more structured and we need to be on it every day.

"We can’t waste any moment in training or on the pitch.

"We have to go for it. I don’t know how far these guys can go and I don’t think they know either.

"I’ll push them in the right way, gradually.

"I don’t want to do too much too soon because it might be a shock to the system fitness and football wise.

"It has to be a gradual process. But the main thing is getting back together and getting into good positions defending wise. We have to get back to basics and competing.

"We need that competitiveness between us. Competition breeds success and that’s where we need to get to.

"We’re not there at the moment but we will be there eventually.”

What was it about Southend that made it feel like a project you wanted to invest in?

“They were the ones who wanted to sign me!

"For me, I met Ron (Martin) and we had a good conversation and a good connection.

"He’s thought about it, I thought about it and it was like a boomerang really as it came back again.

"It’s quite nice and it was meant to be.

"We’re both happy and we both want to work together over the years. Sometimes you have to choose your owner, not your clubs.”

There has been some experienced guys before you in this job. What makes you think you can get through to these players and turn things around?

“Experience isn’t really going to count for anything.

"They’ve had the experience before and it’s not worked out. I’ll come with a different attitude.

"For me, the Macclesfield scenario has held me in good stead. It was a lower League but the elements are still the same.

"You always want to be successful and I’ll fight tooth and nail for the players. We want to stay up but we won’t want it to be on the last day again.

"We have good players and, with a little bit of organisation, we can push up the League.

"I’m very good at detail and I know how to win games. I know what to do with players if they’re slacking off.

"I’ll put everything into it and the players will get the five star treatment. I want them to get better individually and as a team.

"That’s what I will be fighting for day and night. Hopefully it will be a good season for us.”


Up for the challenge - Sol Campbell

There were some off the field matters at Macclesfield. Do you think here you can focus on just football?

“Yes. This is what it is. We don’t have to worry about anything else.

"We can worry about the football side and sometimes that’s all you need to do. That’s all I want to do too.

"I’m happy we can just concentrate on football.”

How important is it having Andy Cole and Hermann Hreidarsson in alongside you?

“You always need a team. Last time I came in by myself which was difficult and it’s good to have a supporting team around you.

"They all bring their elements in and we have Tony Colbert on the fitness side too.

"He’s going to be instrumental going forward and that’s what it’s all about.

"This team will have your back and one man can’t do this job. There’s no question about that.”

The chairman has spoken about a new stadium. Do you think this is a club which looks at promotion to the Championship long-term?

“I think for me it’s all about now and staying up.

"The plans are in place and they’re in a good position.

"I think most of it’s almost done now or is done.

"In the future Southend will have a new stadium and training ground and it would be a nice marriage for things to go forward on the pitch too.

"It would be perfect but my job is to get this right.

"The stadium will come but we have to make sure this club stays in the division.”

Do the players on the fringes of the squad have a chance to prove themselves?

“For me it’s all about having an open door. If any under-23s are coming in, it’s all about getting the team together.

"The door is open for one of two players who can come in.

"Sometimes they can surprise you. We’re not in a position where we can close the door, we have to utilise every avenue we’ve got.”

Have you identified the leaders in your team?

“Not yet. I think the team is a bit quiet for me.

"I want to encourage them to be more vocal. That’s key and those shouts and encouragement are needed on the pitch.

"Even in training they’re important and I want those conversations. It’s not shouting, it’s about coming together and that can be like an extra man on the pitch sometimes.

"That’s what I want. The team has to be comfortable with each other. It’s not arguing, it’s about demanding more from each other and that’s what I want.

"That’s key to see and encourage.

"It’s certainly not a bad thing.

"It’s a football club, I want us to score goals and defend right. I want the keeper making great saves and the midfield holding the ball. I want a football team who want to play week in, week out and be competitive.”


Determined - Sol Campbell

Are you pleased there’s another home game so quickly to get Tuesday’s result out of the players’ systems?

“It’s nice to get it over and done with. It’s hard because Tuesday wasn’t a true reflection.

"There have been some big scorelines against Southend this season but that was too big.

"I’m talking to the lads and lets get back together, learn from it and kick on together. We’ll chalk that one off and get onto the next.”

What’s your message to the fans?

“We’ll get the team ready to compete.

"We’ll go for it but not in a reckless way.

"I want guys who are considered and guys who are in their faces who don’t let people settle.

"We’ve got to dig deep individually and as team. The main thing is if we go for it they can see how far they can go. By pushing them we can find out. Nobody is playing at their capacity yet.”

Is this job tougher than Macclesfield?

“I’ve got more games this time.

"The higher you go, the level goes up. When you’re down there you have to dig even deeper. You have better teams above you who are really organised.

"You can’t look at the whole picture, you have to take it one game at a time and that’s what I’ll tell the lads.

"Every time we go out there, lets go for it. I’m not saying it’s a cup final every weekend but we’ve got to have that mentality. We haven’t got time for one player to go missing for two or three games.

"Every game is precious and it’s down to me to make sure they realise that.”

Are you disappointed not to have been offered a job higher up?

“It is what it is and I’m happy to be here. It’s another challenge and it’s one I’m ready to take on. It’s great to be back in football.”


Watching on - Sol Campbell saw the Shrimpers lose 7-1 to Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night

Did you talk to anyone else in football about Southend before taking the job?

“I spoke to a few people.

"It’s good to have people to talk to who have been at the club or around the club. It’s nice to have that to feed into and to get some knowledge and insight.”

Prior to this appointment, have you had any associations or any memories of Southend?

“I don’t think I ever played at Southend. When my mum was alive she would come here a lot but not me.

"There were too many of those minis going along with those big exhausts back in the day. I’m sure Southend has changed now but I’m happy to be here. It’s a big job and I have to work really, really hard.”

Team news wise, have we appealed either of the red cards from Tuesday night?

“I don’t think so. We might hear back about one today. It is what it is and we have to deal with it and get on with it.”