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BROWN | Oxford victory showed desire and determination

28 September 2016

Blues Boss on U's victory...

Manager Phil Brown said Southend’s 2-1 victory over Oxford United was down to the ‘desire and determination' of the players after conceding right on the stroke of half time.

Kane Hemmings cancelled out Ryan Leonard’s unstoppable volley four minutes into added time of the first half.

But 15 minutes from time Anthony Wordsworth, back in the starting line-up after a long injury lay-off, slotted a penalty to move Blues into 19th which Brown said displayed a lot of character.

“The players dug deep, which they have done for a couple of weeks,” said Brown.

“Nobody wants to be where we are in the league table, we want to be further up of course.

“We want to try and build a platform for when Michael Timlin and Nile Ranger come back.

“Tonight for me was about desire and determination. I asked them for work rate and they provided it.

“It’s the third game on the bounce we’ve won at Roots Hall as well, but we’ve got to find a level of consistency and the next game is now a bigger game.

“The bigger players came to the party tonight and it’s something we needed to do because when Oxford got the equaliser it was about character and we showed it tonight.”

It was a special night for Leonard who marked his 200th appearance for the Blues with a brilliant strike to open the scoring.

“It was something special,” Brown added.

“Lenny’s probably had most shots than anyone else this season.

“He’s got the technique and he gets in a lot of good positions.

“Anthony Wordsworth played alongside him today and, when Lenny scored, was probably already on three shots and I think he had five or six in he first half in total.

“It was something that I took a chance on. I think Woody likes to play in a three, he likes to be the number ten but I asked him to be a little bit more disciplined alongside Lenny and I asked Lenny to be more experienced because if that’s 200 games and he’s only 23-years-old, that’s a lot of experience.

“But it was great for him to be able to celebrate his 200th game for Southend.”

Wordsworth getting the winning goal after his injury struggles capped a great night.

“It’s been a frustrating time for Woody. We didn’t get to the bottom of his injury and then he had a summer of frustration where he played 45 minutes in a game in Spain and looked like he was back, but the pain came back.

“It’s been frustrating for me so it must have been horrendous for him because I know what kind of talent he is.”

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