Brown Relishing Colchester TripDerby day is on the horizon, adding to the festive cheer amongst Southend supporters, and Manager Phil Brown is looking forward to the trip to Colchester United just as much.
The Boxing Day clash, in front of an expected full house at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, will be the first time the rivals have met since February 2010.
Whilst the boss shares in the fans excitement, he urges that his team will be preparing for this game just as they have any other.
“I’m looking forward to it, everyone is.” the Gaffer said.
“When you look around the town, whilst everyone is doing their Christmas shopping you can see that everyone is really up for it.
“It’s like any derby match, it’s bragging rights. It’s local as they’re only 40 minutes down the road, and we’re looking forward to a full house hopefully.
“Playing in front of a full house is always an exciting prospect, and I’m looking forward to the atmosphere.
“We’re preparing for this game exactly the same as any other. The importance of it is that we’re knocking on the door of the play-offs and they’re rock bottom of the league.
“We’re proud of our position at this time, but we want to improve it.”
The game will be newly appointed U’s manager, Kevin Keen’s first in charge of his struggling side, and Brown admits that transition is just the norm in football.
“It’s part and parcel of today’s game.” Brown added.
“This season you’re going to face clubs that are coming in to a new regime, under a new manager.
“All of a sudden, they have got a new manager and it’s a start of the new era for them, but as far as we’re concerned we’re plodding along quite nicely.”
The Blues go in to the game outside the play-offs on just goal difference, and while many would start to dream, the Manager is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
“It’s taking it ‘one game at time’, as you always say as a manager.” Brown stated.
“It’s that next game in a 46 game series, and we’re preparing for it in the same way.
“The Players are bouncing; they are on the training ground everyday, and they are looking forward to the next match.
“It’s one of them where 4-1 against Bury was a great result; it was a great performance but we’re looking forward to the next game and bringing another good performance to the table.”
As the busy Christmas period takes it toll, Brown admitted some of his troops are carrying knocks ahead of the derby.
“We’ve got problems with Ben Coker, which is bad news for him at this moment in time. He’s struggling with groin problems, and we’re trying to nurse him through it.
“Is he available for Boxing day? Who knows, but we’ve got two games after that so he might not be, he might be struggling.
“Michael Timlin we’ve had to rule out for probably the next two games. He looks like he probably needs a little bit of rest and recuperation from the heel injury that he hasn’t quite come through.
“There’s one or two little niggles; Noel Hunt took a kick again in the game on Friday against Bury so we’re nursing him through a period, but hopefully he’ll able to make it.
“So there’s one or two little doubts, not major doubts, but who knows.”
If you're attending the Boxing Day clash we are urging all Southend United supporters to wear yellow!