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Brown: Hard work will pay off

24 February 2014

Phil Brown on Tuesday night's game against Northampton Town

Phil Brown believes Southend United’s hard work will pay off, as they look to end a seven-game winless run at Northampton Town on Tuesday evening.

Blues’ boss feels his side are very close to hitting form again, having created numerous opportunities against Hartlepool last Tuesday, and then kept a clean sheet at York City on Saturday.

With Northampton resurgent under new manager Chris Wilder, Brown is expecting a tough game at Sixfields, but insists that if Blues can click at both ends of the pitch, they will get back to winning ways.

He said: “That’s what we have got to keep doing during this spell – working hard – and the players, and everyone behind the scenes is doing just that.

“Coming in to work when you’re on a good run of form was enjoyable and the players were in good spirits.

“Results haven't been as good recently, but that same enjoyment and spirit to work hard is still there and that can shine through between now and the end of the season.

“Against Hartlepool we got the attacking side right, apart from taking the chances we created, and against York we kept a clean sheet and looked solid.

“We need both to click against Northampton and we’ll then have a very good chance of getting back to winning ways.

“The last time that happened was our last win, and one of our best performances of the season, when we beat Chesterfield.

“You get the luck from the hard work you put in. Hopefully we will get that bit of luck at Sixfields on Tuesday night.

“They’ve picked up under their new manager, and we know how Chris Wilder likes his team to play having come up against them earlier this season.

“We will have to be up to the challenge. It’ll be a physical encounter, just as it was when Northampton visited Roots Hall.”

The game will be Blues’ fourth game in ten days, and Brown says he could make changes to the side for the visit to Northampton.

The manager was impressed with Jack Payne and Marc Laird on Saturday, while he says Freddy Eastwood and Lee Barnard will get a chance to shine before long.

Brown added: “Jack came on and looked lively, and did enough to merit a starting place. Whether that happens on Tuesday or not is a decision I’ve got to make.

“Mark Laird looked steady for the final 20 minutes, while because of the enforced changes, I couldn’t bring Freddy Eastwood on.

“Freddy and Lee Barnard will get their chance, as will the other players who are among the substitutes at the moment.

“Conor Clifford will also be back from suspension for Saturday’s game, so we’re getting players back at a good time.”

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