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PREVIEW | Players are in good spirits, says Coker

31 March 2017

Left back previews the weekend game against Oldham Athletic...

After three straight wins, Blues defender Ben Coker said the Southend players are “buzzing” and “in good spirits” but know they need to keep their winning run going against Oldham. 

Last weekend’s 2-0 win at AFC Wimbledon helped build a three-point lead in the race for a play-off place, with nearest challengers Millwall losing their last two. 

And with the Blues now 6th and within touching distance of those above them in the play-offs, a fourth win in a row against Oldham this weekend is vital. 

“The boys are buzzing. It was great at the weekend, it was a right scrap and we done really well. We had a game-plan and the gaffer was really happy that we went out there and did it. 

“We need to put a run together now we’re right in the mix. The results went for us in the week and the weekend so we’re right in amongst it now. 

“I think the boys are in good spirits and we’ve just got to keep going now.”

Saturday’s visitors Oldham are just three points above the relegation zone, but they have only lost one of their last 10 league games. 

Following dropped points at home against the likes of Northampton Town and Port Vale, who are in and around Oldham in the table, Coker knows his side have to be at it from the off on Saturday.  

“It’ll be a tough game, it’s always tough when teams come to Roots Hall, we know what we’re going to get. They’re going to sit in and try and catch us on the counter-attack and we’ve got to be aware of that.

“Training today and tomorrow we’ll be going over them and what we can do to hurt them. Every game will be hard, we’ve just got to make sure we get the result. 

“We’ve got to be at it from minute one. If we start games when we know we can score goals and we just keep them out at the back we’ll be absolutely sweet. We’ve got to be fully focused on Saturday.” 

Coker missed two months of action after an ankle injury picked up in November against Bradford City, returning as a substitute in the 2-1 win over Rochdale in mid-January. 

Since his return, Coker has been an ever present in the Blues back line, starting all 12 games since the Rochdale win and the Blues left-back has been pleased with his own form.  

“I’m really happy with the way I’ve been playing, just trying to get forward like I have been and just make sure we don’t concede any goals. 

“I’ve been happy the way I’ve been defending and I’ve just got to keep it going towards the play-offs now, so I’m very happy.”


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