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Brown: We need to restore that clean sheet mentality against Oxford United

4 September 2014

Southend United’s Phil Brown says he will be working on the mentality of his players ahead of Saturday’s game against Oxford United at Roots Hall.

After two defeats and a draw in League 2 action in the last three games, Blues will be looking to get back the ‘clean sheet mentality’ that drove them into the play-off places last season.

Brown believes if Blues can get back that mentality, the goals at the other end will take care of themselves.

He said: “I don’t think we need to be spending two or three days just banging balls in the net on the training pitch, that’s not how it works.

“We need to work on the mentality of the players first and foremost ahead of Saturday’s game against Oxford United.

“We haven’t won the games for a reason and that’s down to the mentality. We’re conceding goals that we weren’t conceding last season.

“I’ve probably over analysed their second goal on Tuesday night. It took a slight deflection but it’s about how it got to that stage in the first instance.

“We’ll be working on the mentality of a clean sheet which we did have last season. If we get that clean sheet, things will take care of themselves at the other end.”

Blues have been unable to make the most of the chances created in recent games, but Brown looks back at Gavin Tomlin and Britt Assombalonga’s spell with the club.

He added: “Britt is one of the deadliest goal scorers in English football at the moment but he had a spell when he first joined, from speaking to Graham Coughlan, where he couldn’t score.

“He had an unreal belief that he would score goals and things turned for him here and he’s doing fantastically well now for himself.

“Gavin Tomlin was the same, and he did an interview about how the manager had kept his faith in him. That’s exactly what I will be doing with the players we have here.”

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