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Club News

Bats the way to do it!

8 November 2012

Manager Paul Sturrock has been thinking outside the box when it comes to dealing with Port Vale striker Tom Pope on Saturday.

The Valiants forward is League Two’s top goalscorer with 17 strikes already to his name this season.

And when asked how he will keep the prolific marksmen in check on Saturday, Sturrock retorted: “Can we use a baseball bat?”

The Blues chief knows however knows that it is more than just the ex-Rotherham striker who his Southend side must keep tabs on.

Vale have scored 43 goals in all competitions this season and are currently second in the npower League Two table.

That means Sturrock’s defence will need to be solid if Southend United are to avoid a home defeat.

“They have 35 goals in the league with a third of the season gone. That is unbelievable.

“Tom Pope is scoring goals for fun and he’s making them as well.  They are a very dangerous team to play at home where we have been too open at times.

“Port Vale are very attack minded and they have height as well.

“It is important that our defence knows what is coming as there will be crosses from both sides.

“Hopefully we can take something from the last two games though as scoring six goals ourselves is not to be sneezed at.”

Sturrock will have a near fully fit and available squad to select from for the encounter.

Only Neil Harris (knee) remains an absentee whilst Luke Prosser will return following a one-match suspension.

And the Scot admitted that he was pleased is see Vale boss Micky Adams doing well after a difficult couple of years at Vale Park.

“I am delighted for Micky Adams at the moment as he has had a torrid time in charge with what has happened at that football club,” Sturrock said referring to the administration Port Vale had been through recently.

“He’s a top man and I hope he stays a top man but only after Saturday.”

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