BIRTHDAY-BOY Reeco Hackett-Fairchild fired Southend United to a vital 1-0 victory against relegation rivals Barrow on his Shrimpers debut and then backed Mark Molesley’s side to work their way up the table.

Hackett-Fairchild, who is on loan from Portsmouth, fired home the only goal of the game at Roots Hall after just three minutes.

But Blues were forced to dig deep after having Greg Halford sent off after 52 minutes.

And the determination on show has convinced Hackett-Fairchild the Shrimpers will not be bottom of the League Two table for too much longer.

“If we keep going the way we are now then I’m pretty sure we will be fine and we can start pushing up the table,” said the 23-year-old.

“It’s a good group, there’s a lot of quality and everyone works hard for each other which you’ve really seen here.

“The gaffer is really good and gets what he wants to get across really well too.”

Blues, who have won four home games in succession, are now just a point from safety.

And Hackett-Fairchild was happy to make an immediate impression with the only goal of the game.

“It’s always good to start off with a goal, especially early on in the game like that,” said Hackett-Fairchild.

“That’s where I like to pick up the ball most on the pitch and I’d always back myself to score there but it was a real team effort.

“We found ourselves in a difficult situation down to 10 men and we dealt with it really well to get the three points.”

Hackett-Fairchild, whose season had been disrupted after testing positive for coronavirus, went off with a hamstring problem midway through the second half.

But he fully expects to be fit enough to face Grimsby Town on Saturday.

“It was just precautionary that I came off,” said Hackett-Fairchild.

“I should be fine and it’s been a good birthday for me.”