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Phil Brown: The game against Walsall will be a fantastic watch

14 August 2015

Boss expecting another tough test when his side go up against Dean Smith's men.

Southend United manager Phil Brown is expecting an exciting game when Walsall visit Roots Hall on Saturday for our first game back at Roots Hall as a League 1 side.

The Saddlers – like the Blues – drew their opening game of the campaign, but progressed in the Capital One Cup in midweek with a 4-3 win over Nottingham Forest.

And Brown expects a tricky challenge from the Saddlers, who have one of the boss' good friends in the form of Dean Smith, in charge.

“We've been going through the notes from when we played them in the Capital One Cup – a cracking game of football,” Brown began.

“Dean's gone to Nottingham Forest and has shown them a lot of respect – playing one striker and stodging it up a little bit in the midfield. They still ended up scoring four goals!

“Dean's philosophy is to play good football and people are recognising that with Southend United as well. What matters is that we get the same seen off and win the match.

“He wants his teams to entertain, score goals and play. They've won the fair play league twice on the bounce and last season they received 44 yellow cards in 46 games.

“Tom Bradshaw got himself a hat-trick on Tuesday night and he's one we respect. We've had our eye on him and he's recently pledged his loyalty to Walsall. He's someone we admire.”

And although Brown has a slight doubt regarding Noel Hunt – who came off against Brighton & Hove Albion in midweek – he admits to having a 'selection headache' for the match against the Saddlers.

“He can't get his boot on to train on Thursday but fingers crossed he'll train on Friday and play a part on Saturday.

“Everybody's up and at it and I have a selection problem because the players did well on Tuesday and at Fleetwood on Saturday.”

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