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Interview: Brown says first goal is crucial against Stevenage

15 August 2014

Southend United manager Phil Brown stressed the importance of the first goal ahead of the visit of Stevenage to Roots Hall.

Blues’ first home league game of the season sees them welcome Graham Westley’s side, and Brown is expecting a physical test for his players.

But he believes getting the first goal and a good tempo in the early stages will be crucial if Blues are to come away with the three points.

He said: “Stevenage will have a game plan which will be to frustrate and try and slow the game down. We had a number of teams come to Roots Hall and do that last season.

“We addressed the home form last season but you always want to win as many as possible at Roots Hall to give yourself the best chance of promotion.

“I was delighted to see Walsall come and play football against us on Tuesday night, but we’ll have to be ready for teams who don’t come here and do that.

“We have to make sure we come out of the traps quick and get that first goal. If we do that then the opposition has to try and attack to get back in the game and it opens up.

“The players know they’ve got to pass the ball in the right way, have the right tempo about their play and excite. That will get supporters off their seats.

“That said, we conceded two on Tuesday night, and I believe the clean sheet mentality is important so we’ll be looking to do just that.”

Brown tracked Stevenage midfielder Charlie Lee last season and admits he’ll be a threat on Saturday. “Charlie is a versatile player who can play in a number of positions,” Brown added.

“That’s why we were tracking him. He’s a good player, and goes against the mould we know of Stevenage which is big and strong, but he’s got a huge throw which we’ll have to be ready to deal with.

“They’ve got some good quality in their squad, but so have we and we will be confident that we can pick up another important three points.”

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