Phil Brown described the Blues’ 3-0 win over Oldham as “a strange old day” as Southend shrugged off the sending off of Ryan Leonard to win for a fourth game in a row.
Leonard’s straight red card came after a late challenge on Ousmane Fane with the score still at 0-0, but two goals in three minutes from Nile Ranger and Theo Robinson knocked the stuffing out of Oldham.
Anthony Wordsworth’s penalty in the sixth minute of injury-time put the gloss on the score-line, with Brown calling the win “perfect.”
“It was a strange old day and to win it being down to 10-men is perfect,” said a delighted Blues boss at full time.
“It’s a massive statement of intent. If you’d won 3-0 and went down to 10-men at 3-0 then it’s not really a statement. But when you’re 0-0 and you go down to 10-men and win 3-0 that’s a massive statement.
“The substitutions played a massive part with the pace that we brought onto the pitch. I said to them at half time the subs will play a part in the success and they did, but the sending off played a bigger part.”
As well as the three points, the clean sheet would have delighted the Blues boss as he was forced to bring in Christian Walton from Brighton & Hove Albion on an emergency loan.
Ted Smith was ruled out with a wrist injury following a scan during the week and Brown was pleased with his stand-in goalkeeper who was composed throughout.
“He had a lot more to do that I wanted him to. Oldham spent a lot of time in our half, but if they’ve had more shots than us then a lot of them were long range and off target, so he’s not had great saves to make but he was composed.
“He’s a giant of a lad, he’s an inch taller than Ryan Inniss, which takes some doing, so he’s a big boy. We’ve got stature and we’ve got size, and something that you certainly need when you’re playing against Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night.”
Southend’s fourth straight win sends them into Tuesday night full of confidence as 2nd-placed Bolton Wanderers come to Roots Hall.
Brown is hoping that the Blues fans come out in force to cheer Southend on in what the former Bolton-player has described as the “proverbial six-pointer” in the race for promotion.
“I’m hoping it’s going to be 9-10,000 [on Tuesday]. I’m hoping the Bolton fans turn up, I know they’ve drawn today which is a bit of surprise.”
“It is the proverbial six-pointer and one that we’re looking forward to on the back of four wins.”
“I don’t think anyone in Southend won’t be licking their lips. We’ve got to take them on and win the game if we want to give ourselves a good chance of doing something this year.”