Blues Boss previews Essex DerbySouthend United Phil Brown is expecting another performance infused with passion and pride from his players as they prepare to face Colchester United tomorrow afternoon.
The Blues go in to the ‘Battle of Essex’ on the back of consecutive wins, placed just outside the play-offs on goal difference.
Brown believes one of the key factors for the run in form is the mentality of his players.
“We’ve got some good, strong characters in the team.” He said.
“The 231 supporters that travelled to Shrewsbury on Tuesday, would have seen every player playing for the shirt, playing for the badge with pride.
“When you’ve got pride in your performance you’ve always got half a chance.”
After winning the reverse fixture 2-0 on Boxing Day, Southend prepare to welcome their local rivals to Roots Hall for the first time in over six years.
Now that the wait is over, Brown is expecting an electric atmosphere from his supporters for this one.
“We played just over a month ago on Boxing day, and it was a real carnival atmosphere from our travelling fans.
“We have to make sure we bring that to Roots Hall on Saturday, as the players really feel it when the stadium is rocking and bouncing.
“We know that we’ve got a responsibility to get the fans excited, and get them off their seats, but when the atmosphere is flying it’s a great place to play your football, and that’s what we need on Saturday.”
With only John White (Calf) and Myles Weston (Foot) not to have trained this week, and with Michael Timlin suspended, the Blues boss faces an almighty task to pick 11 men from a squad of high-flying players.
Given the significance of the game, Brown admits it’s a fixture that few would want to miss.
“The selection headache I’ve got is one of the worst I’ve had since I’ve been at the football club.
“Gary Deegan, Stephen McLaughlin and Anthony Wordsworth all trained this week.
“I’ve got players that didn’t play on Tuesday to choose from, and those who won that game of course.
“Every man in my team, plus myself and the coaching staff all want to be involved in this one, so let’s bring it on!”