Southend United manager Phil Brown is hoping a rocking Roots Hall will help his side return to winning ways against Portsmouth on Saturday.Blues beat Andy Awford’s side home and away last season, having come from behind in both matches to win 2-1.
Ryan Leonard’s 90th minute winner in the home game sparked great scenes at Roots Hall, and Brown is hoping for more of the same on Saturday against what he recognises as one of the biggest clubs in the division.
He said: “By definition, Pompey are a big club, they won the FA Cup just six years ago which tells you the size of the club. We think they will be a top-half team at least this season so it will be a good test.
“Andy Awford seems to have got them playing again. I saw them at Burton Albion last weekend and they can certainly play.
“Andy changed formation about three times during the course of the game so I’ve not really got an idea as to what formation they will play at Roots Hall.
“That said, we need to focus on ourselves and making sure we get supporters excited and off their seats.
“We did just that in some of the big games last season. Pompey is one that springs to my mind, York City is another. There was a fantastic atmosphere at Roots Hall for both of those games and we were rewarded with late goals.
“Pompey will bring a big crowd with them once again I imagine, so we need our supporters to be at their best and I’m sure they will be on Saturday.”
Brown is pleased to have Jerome Binnom-Williams signed and available for Saturday’s game having seen Ben Coker ruled out for four months.
“Jerome is someone we know about from speaking to Tony Pulis,” he added. “He’s big, he’s strong and he’s quick, he’ll fit right in.
“Losing Ben is a blow because he’s been an important part of our play, but hopefully Jerome can come in and make an impression.”