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Dave Penney: Players upping their game thanks to the strong competition for places

5 February 2015

Assistant boss delighted with the options in the squad, ahead of the trip to Shrewsbury Town.

Southend United Assistant Manager Dave Penney insists Blues are looking up, heading into the tough trip to Shrewsbury Town's Greenhous Meadow in Sky Bet League Two.

Salop are yet to lose on their own patch, and although he admits it will be a tricky tie, has belief in the side, and is delighted with the options available to Blues boss Phil Brown

“It should be a good game on Saturday,” Dave said.

“Shrewsbury are a very good team with an excellent home record. We have a good away record and we're looking forward to it.

“We have more options and choices. Barry Corr is back from suspension and Mads Ibenfeldt is the only one out long-term for us. 

“I heard Michael Timlin mention the squad being the strongest since he's been at the Club, and I certainly think that's the case since I've been here. The players are all  chomping at the bit.

“We saw the likes of Adam Barrett, Lee Barnard, Barry Corr and Cian Bolger all missing out on the squad against York last week, which shows the strength we have at the moment.”

Reflecting on the January transfer window, Penney believes a good month in bringing players to the Club has raised the performance levels from the squad as a whole.

And he in particular is pleased with the choices up front.

“We did our business early on in January. Joe (Pigott) has come in and got the goals early doors, and Jake (Cassidy) has done well too. 

“However, we've got to give credit to the other strikers, like Shaq (Coulthirst), Barry Corr, Lee Barnard and Myles Weston for keeping the two of them on their toes.

“The Chairman backed Phil in January and we had to fight off competition for the likes of Cassidy and Pigott. Bringing Adam Barrett back means we have another leader and another voice in the camp. 

“We're looking at the top three. You have to forget who's behind you and strive to catch the sides that are above you.”

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