Southend United vs Wrexham…
After being held to a frustrating stalemate against Wealdstone on Monday, Southend United take to the Roots Hall pitch tomorrow afternoon, Wrexham the opposition.
It will be the Blues’ second tough home match in a row. After being defeated 1-0 by a Stockport County side tipped for success last weekend, Phil Brown’s side are set to take on other promotion favourite in the form of the Red Dragons on Saturday.
The two sides have clashed plenty of times before, including the Shrimpers’ LDV Vans Trophy final heartbreak in 2005, falling to a 2-0 defeat against the side based in north Wales. This will be Southend and Wrexham’s first ever meeting in the National League, however.
Now under the supervision of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s company, RR McReynolds Company LLC, Wrexham are very much a ‘club on the up,’ eyeing a return to the Football League and out of the National League which they have resided for 13 years.
Heavy investment has seen the club lure in various eye-catching signings, Paul Mullin, Ben Tozer, and James Jones to name a few.
But what has also transpired from their shift in ownership is a movement of backroom staff, welcoming the highly experienced Phil Parkinson to the set-up, a manager with plenty of success in the third and fourth tier of English football.
Wrexham’s 1-1 draw away at Dagenham & Redbridge on the final day of the 20/21 campaign saw them lose their seventh place spot at the expense of Bromley. The Red Dragons will be looking to make a spot in the upper reaches of the standings a little more secure this season.
Southend’s debut season in the National League has started with the Blues picking up a win, a draw, and a loss in their first three matches, four points from a possible nine.
Boss Phil Brown vented his frustrations after his side drew 0-0 away at Wealdstone on Monday.
48 hours prior, they fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Stockport, as they have yet to add another victory to their opening day triumph against King's Lynn Town, beating the Linnets by a goal to nil.
Wrexham are undefeated in their three matches so far. They drew against Notts County and Solihull Moors either side of their 2-0 victory over Eastleigh last weekend.
From The Boss:
"Bringing a new group of players together is never an easy task to start off with, piecing together a new jigsaw, but it's exciting for me," said Phil Brown.
"There's probably only two or three players that I've worked with before and the rest is a whole new ball game.
"Is that a reason for a poor second-half performance against Wealdstone? Maybe. But bottom line is I'm not accepting it. I want them to understand what a Phil Brown team looks like.
"One of my strengths is organising a team that can keep a clean sheet. I think I’ve gone through my career, quite successfully, being able to do that. Two out of three I’m delighted with.
"One goal for and one goal against, am I delighted with that? Probably not in the modern-day game. I think the modern-day supporter, now, wants to sit down and be entertained and I’m there to entertain them.
"Mark my words, we will be trying to score goals, there’s no doubt about it. I think we’ve brought a group of players together and piecing that beautiful picture of scoring a wonderful goal is probably a little bit more difficult than piecing together a horrible unit that can stop the opposition from scoring, but we’ve got to bring both of them things to the party in time for Saturday against Wrexham, because they can play.”
Blues’ Team News:
Josh Coulson and Jason Demetriou will be pushing for a return to the starting eleven after being left out on Bank Holiday Monday due to the 48-hour turnaround.
Alongside them, James Dunne and Will Atkinson are also off the treatment table and ready to return for Brown’s side, the latter looking to make his second debut for the club.
Abu Ogogo picked up a hamstring injury against Stockport last Saturday, the midfielder will remain out for at least two weeks with the problem.
Tom Clifford remains absent, recovering from a longer-term injury suffered in pre-season. The left-back isn't expected to be seen in action until at least November.
Alan Dale will be the man in the middle calling the shots as Wrexham come to town.
His last visit to Roots Hall concurred with Sol Campbell’s first win as Blues boss, a 3-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Trophy, Dale acting as fourth official on the night.
Saturday will be his first time refereeing the Shrimpers.
Last season, Dale took charge of 24 matches, brandishing 95 yellow cards in the process, whilst also showing eight red cards and awarded eight penalties.
Elsewhere in the National League:
Altrincham v Dover
Boreham Wood v Stockport Town
Chesterfield v Bromley
Dagenham & Redbridge v Wealdstone
Eastleigh v Kings Lynn Town
Grimsby Town v Barnet
Maidenhead United v Torquay United
Notts County v Aldershot Town
Solihull Moors v Weymouth
Yeovil Town v FC Halifax Town (17:15)
How to Follow:
Tickets are on sale and Friday is the final chance to take advantage of the cheaper pre-matchday prices, which increase by £2 on the day of the game.
Blues fans unable to attend Roots Hall on Saturday will still be able to follow all the live action by subscribing to Blues TV where you’ll get live match commentary from the BBC Essex team from all first-team matches this season.
Blues TV costs £4.49 per month or a one-off cost of £45 for the season, with your subscription not only giving you match commentary, but also exclusive access to extended match highlights, full pre-match press conferences and interviews.
You can also follow live minute-by-minute updates on social media via the Club’s official Twitter account by following @SUFCRootsHall on Twitter, which will ensure you get all the latest news and more throughout the 2021/22 season.