Read the head coach's notes from the Southend United matchday magazine
Welcome back and a warm welcome to Phil Brown, Dave Penney and everyone associated with Southend United. They have been right up there in the play-off places for two or three seasons now and have built a robust squad who we know will give us a good test this afternoon. The game at Roots Hall in Southend was pretty even but counts for little today. It is all about how we perform and how we react after the last couple of games.
In both the home game against Cheltenham and the away game at Dagenham we really should have won; six points and momentum rather than just one point and frustration. Against Cheltenham we played some very bright football for the first half hour and then had a mad few minutes where we failed to clear our lines or close men down. That is not like us over the last few weeks. The game was there for the taking, no doubt about it, but we weren’t ruthless enough and that is something that needs addressing.
Dagenham last weekend was slightly different because the pitch wasn’t the best and the wind made it very hard for both sides, so you have to make allowances, but even so I thought we were the only side that looked like winning the game. Dagenham went through the whole 90 minutes without a shot on target - Clarkey’s shirt won’t have needed washing between that game and this! We maybe didn’t create as many chances as we would have liked but we did make the better opportunities and looking back at the match just confirmed what I felt on the day: that we should have come away with more than one point.
I have heard people saying that things are bound to click into place if we keep doing the right things, but you cannot wait for things to happen to you; you need to raise your own game and make things happen for yourself.
Hopefully the return of Will Hoskins and Patrick Hoban will help things at the top of the pitch. Will did great when he came on last weekend and I am convinced will be a major asset in the second half of the season.
Patrick was due to play in a friendly at Thame on Tuesday night but the weather got the better of that match and so we will continue his rehab work in training and look to ease him back into match action. We won’t rush him or James Roberts, who is unlikely to feature today after picking up an injury at Dagenham. He did the right thing in getting off the pitch as soon as he felt a twinge and that should mean he is back relatively soon.
Whoever plays today we know they will give it their all. The commitment and desire have been evident from all of the players this season and with two home games in a row and your fantastic support what better time to turn that into six points.
Get behind us,
You can read the rest of the matchday magazine online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc