The Southend United Manager gives his reaction to the 2016/17 Fixture Release and EFL Cup Draw.Southend United Manager Phil Brown can’t wait to get the new season started after the fixtures for the 2016/17 Sky Bet League One season were announced on Wednesday 22 June.
Blues have been handed a home fixture to kick off the new campaign as they welcome neighbours Gillingham to Roots Hall on Saturday 8 August.
Ironically Southend will then play Gillingham at home again just a few days later in the First Round of the EFL Cup.
The prospect of a local derby to start business is something Brown is very much looking forward to as the Blues Boss eagerly counts down to kick off with preparations well underway behind the scenes.
“I haven’t had time to take in everything as far as the fixtures are concerned but the Gillingham one is the first one to grab your attention being a local derby.
“We shared the spoils on both occasions last season and they’ve still got their manager in Justin Edinburgh and I think they are still just about holding on to Bradley Dack which will key to their success next season if they are going to have any.
“And then we’ve gone and pulled them out in the EFL Cup and back to back games after only a few days is quite surreal.
“Focusing on the league if you look at Gillingham at home, Bristol Rovers at home and Millwall at home which are three of the first four home games – you’re looking
at massive crowds.
“Gillingham will have a couple of thousand traveling fans, Bristol Rovers for sure will have similar and Millwall as we know can sell out the away end so you’re looking at an excess of 10,000 crowd in those games.
“After ten games, you’ll have an idea of somewhere near where you’re going to be at the end of the season but it will a hard slog as there is some good sides in there.
“We’ll be competitive this year and hopefully at home we can pack Roots Hall and get it rocking and see where it takes us.
“It’s a division that wets your appeitite, and I am already looking forward to it and I know every player I have in employment will have this fixture list right in front of them.
“Now that you’ve got a fixture list you’ve automatically got a target. A target to aim for that you’re in the team for the first game of next season.
“And if that’s the case you’re a lucky man because we’ll have decent squad next year and hopefully a compeitive one that will have a good pre-season and will be fully looking forward to the first game.”
To see Blues' full 2016/17 fixture list - click here
Have you got your 16/17 Season Card yet? Back the Blues and get yours now! 15/16 Season Card Holders have until Thursday 30 June to secure their current seat for the new campaign.