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Brown previews "massive game" against Burton

19 February 2016

Blues Boss looks to Brewers clash

Southend United Manager Phil Brown is relishing the prospect of a ‘massive’ Monday night showdown with Burton Albion.

With the Sky cameras in town, and the lights beaming down on this League One clash, Brown has stated the importance of going in to the game with the table toppers with no jitters.

“As far as I’m concerned, the bigger the game the better.” He said.

“You don’t want to play games at Roots Hall with nothing on them, and the size of the game is synonymous of where we are.

“Both teams have come up a division, and Burton are flying high at the top of the table and are doing quite well.

“Teams are going up from League Two and going in this division with no fear, but I think the first six games of the season we played with fear.

“Then all of a sudden we opened up to the division and realised there was nothing to worry about.

“There’s good teams in this division, none more so than the team we are facing on Monday night so it’s a massive game.

“They want to maintain their standards at the top of the division, but we also want to push for play-off status so there’s lots to play for.”

The Blues go in to the game on the back of consecutive defeats against Scunthorpe United and Bradford City respectively.

What also has been consistent in those games is the goals conceded. All three of the scoring efforts in the last two games have come from set-pieces, much to the frustration of Brown.

The Southend leader spoke after the Bradford City game about the need to arrest the situation, and today said the main factor when it comes down to defending dead ball situations is concentration.

Regarding addressing the problem of set-pieces, Brown said “Only time will tell.

“If you analyse against the amount of times we have defended well, it’s not so much of a problem, but it’s those key moments in games.

“There’s lot of ways of looking at it; the ins and outs of set-pieces, but at the end of the day if the individuals have their head on it, literally, then we won’t have a problem.”

There was some welcome news for the Manager this week as long-term absentees Ben Coker, Stephen McLaughlin and Anthony Wordsworth made their first starts for the side after coming back from injury layoffs.

Ryan Leonard’s absence will be felt, but with John White and Myles Weston not far away from coming back in to the fray, Brown is looking forward to having a near full squad at his disposal.

“In the main, the squad is now coming back to full fitness.

“We’ve got two or three key players still out; John White, Myles Weston and Ryan Leonard, who has proved to be a big miss in these last two games.

“The sooner we get the full squad back together, the better for us.”

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