Phil Brown on the 2-0 win at the Ricoh Arena...
Phil Brown was pleased with his side’s reaction to Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers as the Blues recorded a convincing 2-0 away win against Coventry City on Tuesday night.
First-half goals from Nile Ranger and Ryan Leonard were more than enough to see off the league’s bottom club at the Ricoh Arena as Southend put pressure on those above them in the table.
Brown said that after the defeat to Bristol that “sparks flew” in the dressing room after the game, and that the win and the performance against Coventry was exactly what he was after.
“Whenever you travel the length and breadth of the country and you see the support that we get, to perform the way we performed in the first half against Bristol Rovers was unacceptable,” said Brown.
“We tried to climb that mountain and just failed in the second half. We didn’t get the goals, we had the opportunities, but at least we restored a little bit of pride.
“You go into the changing room, in my day sparks flew and on Saturday it was a bit of a throwback because sparks flew and a lot of harsh words were said and we had to put it right.
“Tonight was about putting it right. I thought the performance from minute one to minute 93 summed up what we were talking about. It was a good team performance, a good squad performance.”
Brown made five changes to his side for the trip to Coventry with John White, Ryan Inniss, Stephen McLaughlin, Nile Ranger and Theo Robinson all coming in.
The latter two, Ranger and Robinson, combined to set up the opening goal of the game inside the first minute and Brown was full of praise of his strike-pairing, calling Rangers’ finish a “sign of a good striker.”
On the goal, Brown said it “was reminiscent of Nile Ranger when he played at Sheffield United for a brief spell, when he showed us what he could do, when he ran at a centre half and dispossessed him as if he wasn’t there.
“He showed him no respect whatsoever and that’s what Theo did. Ran at the centre half who had good possession, dispossessed him, and then laid a pass onto Nile Ranger who, the finish was out of the top draw.
“Because it’s a bobbly pitch, normally when they’re coming across square to you, you can quite easily miss-control, quite easily slash at it, quite easily take an eye off the ball. But he didn’t, he did none of them things and passed it over the line and that’s the sign of a good striker.”
Brown was understandably delighted that the changes he made had paid off, and with Saturday in mind he has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal should he want to change things up again for the visit of Walsall.
“We’ve got a big enough squad, we’ve got a good enough squad which we proved tonight. We’ve not seen sight nor sound of David Mooney for three months and now all of a sudden he’s on the bench.
“To be able to host Frank Nouble, Jermaine McGlashan, to bring Marc-Antoine Fortune on to the field of play as good substitutes, you know with Simon Cox, Michael Timlin, Jason Demetriou and Adam Thompson all back home this bodes well for Saturday.
“I’m not saying I’m not going to make changes. I’ve really got to look at it on Saturday and make sure that one, we’ve got the energy, two, we understand what Walsall’s system is and three, that we bring our best game to the party when we’ve got the ball.”