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Sturrock: We stood up to task

31 July 2012

Manager Paul Sturrock was pleased with his sides’ first half showing against Ipswich Town at Roots Hall.

His Southend United side secured a 2-1 win against the Championship outfit in a pre-season friendly. 

And despite looking weary in the second half, having played three games in four days, Sturrock was happy his side stood up to the task. 

“I thought in the first half we played very well but I knew what was coming in the second half,” the Scot told the official website. 

“Ipswich kicked in and I thought our tour legs started to show because we looked a bit weary but we could have had a couple more in the first 45 minutes. 

“The second half they came at us from all angles but we stood up to the task well.” 

United edged ahead after only seven minutes through Kane Ferdinand, before the midfielder played his part in Southend;s second via an own goal from Ipswich’s Luke Chambers. 

It capped two good performances in Madrid from the youngster and Sturrock was also keen to praise Ferdinand’s teammates. 

“Kane has come back with a bit more strength this season and a bit more belief in himself but he still has a long way to go yet,” he said. 

“Ryan Leonard worked his tail off, as did Neil Harris, and then Gavin Tomlin has that wee bit of class that you need in a team.” 

The win comes after a busy couple of days with Southend United having arrived back from their pre-season tour in Spain just 24 hours earlier. 

Blues lost 3-1 to a strong Real Madrid C side before drawing with Rayo Vallecano B on Sunday and although different to what League Two will offer up this season, the style of football faced did have its uses according to Sturrock. 

He said: “The bonding part of the trip is very important because the football is completely alien to what we will be treated to in the league. 

“But it did enable us to work very hard on certain aspects when the opposition have the ball and I think it showed tonight that a few people have got it into their head the right things we should be doing.” 

With just two weeks now until the season kicks off with a Capital One Cup opener away to Peterborough United, a goalkeeper and two midfielders are now Sturrock’s priority. 

Daniel Bentley played 90 minutes in the United goal Tuesday evening and Sturrock admitted he will not be rushed in his decision to select a keeper to partner the 19-year-old. 

“It wouldn’t take a rocket science to work out that we need a goalkeeper and a couple of midfield players,” said Sturrock after the match. 

“That’s what I am looking for at this moment in time. I’m still looking about for a goalkeeper but I don’t want to rush into something by doing a permanent and then finding out it doesn’t work out. 

“I am exploring all of our options as to whether I take a loan or a permanent signing but it just takes that bit more time.”

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