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Brown: "Team picks itself at the moment"

27 July 2017

Phil Brown spoke to ahead of the last pre-season friendly...

Southend Manager Phil Brown says his team is picking itself at the moment due to injuries.

The Roots Hall chief has had little good fortune on the injury front, with Stephen McLaughlin, Michael Turner, Ben Coker and Anthony Wordsworth all sidelined.

And Brown said: “It’s getting to that stage [that the team to play against Cambridge will play against Blackburn] because of injuries more than anything else.

“Certain situations have cropped up over the last three to four weeks. Maybe in the first week I would have decided, around about then because of standard of play and fitness levels etc, who was going to be in my starting eleven.

“Come 5th August, it’s probably getting picked for me because of one or two injuries.

“Stephen McLaughlin and Michael Turner haven’t been in the training for a week, and Ben Coker hasn’t for a week or two either.

“If they don’t play a part on Saturday, and it’s a big if, or they don’t play a part in training next week then my team is starting to get picked for myself.”

And Brown says that is far from handy build-up to the new season, although other areas have sprung surprises.

“It’s not ideal preparation but all managers will be complaining about their preparations going well, indifferently or poorly.

“In terms of fitness levels the preparations have gone well.

“I got two full 90 minutes out of Anton Ferdinand. The two 90 minutes we’ve had out of Michael Kightly have been a blessing.

“There’s lots of plusses but the final game [in pre-season] and final week is about fine tuning and getting those last little bits of preparations ready for what will prove to be one of the biggest games of the season.”

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