Blues boss Phil Brown gave us his thoughts following Southend United’s 2-1 pre-season win over Braintree Town at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium yesterday.
Two first-half goals from Simon Cox and Marc-Antoine Fortune, either side of a Karl Oliyide equaliser, were enough for the Blues to secure the win.
But the win over the National League South side was marred by the sending off of Michael Timlin after he clashed with Scott Shulton following a high tackle by the Braintree man.
On the performance…
I got as strong a team out as I could possibly muster, apart from Nile Ranger, Ryan Leonard, Anthony Wordsworth, Ben Coker. I’d never bemoan any of that because that’s pre-season, but we put a fairly strong team out and ended up 2-1 up at half time.
It was a sloppy goal to concede and there were a couple of chances they had that were sloppy. Passing the ball wasn’t as crisp as I would like, but it’s two weeks into pre-season so I’m expecting it to improve.
I expect the players to improve in terms of their mentality and their movement, and their fitness, and their performance, and that’s what comes in pre-season.
It’s so frustrating as a manager to have to stand here and make excuses for whatever. You’ll probably look at the result and go “we’ve won the game,” but it was poor.
There’s a lot of work to be done in many, many areas, but we know that the lads are only two weeks into it. Some are behind others like Jason Demetriou because of his international duty, Anton Ferdinand is behind it because of personal circumstances, so we’re all at different levels at the moment.
My job is to get them fitter and get them all on the same level come the 5th of August.
On the new signings…
Michael Kightly came on in the second half when the game settled down and is not at the same tempo, so it’s difficult to read into it.
Michael Turner got a good 60 minutes under his belt. He looks quite strong, quite solid, and so does Stephen Hendrie at the moment.
Kights needs fitness work; he’s the first one to admit that, but you’ve seen the creativity side of him. He can open a door and I’m hopeful that the strikers we’ve got at the football club will walk through that door and score goals.
If he can provide the ammunition, we need someone to pull the trigger and fire the shots, and I think we will, we’ll get there. We’ll get on the same wave length as Michael Kightly and, all well and good, the creativity side of things I’m hoping will be better than last year.
We scored 72 goals last year, so if it improves we’ll be in for an exciting season.
On the Timlin sending off…
It’s an unfortunate incident. Michael felt there was an infringement before that hadn’t been seen by the referee where the lad tried to take him out with a knee-high challenge – that’s his answer to it, but, as an experienced pro, I can’t accept that.
It’ll be dealt with internally and we’ll see where we take it. At the end of the day, in a pre-season friendly to be sent off in a game – the referee had to do it, he has assessors in the stand, he has cameras watching, so if he doesn’t do his job to the best of his ability he suffers a suspension as opposed to Michael.
We’ll see what the FA throw at us and we’ll deal with it.
iFollow Blues subscribers can watch the post-match interview with Brown here.