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Brown hopeful for successful Roots Hall return

24 November 2017

After a 1-1 draw with MK Dons on Tuesday night, Phil Brown’s side continue to search for their first win in November.

However, the Blues boss believes returning to Roots Hall, after over a month of league action, will have a benefit as Southend aim to extend their unbeaten run of form at home.

“It’s always nice to come home, especially when we’ve gone unbeaten all season without a defeat in the league,” he said.

“I’m certainly looking forward to it, I think the fans should also be looking forward to it and certainly the players will be looking forward to it.

“We’ve been doing our defensive duties of late, but I just want my players to relax and put the ball into the back of the net.

“We just need to relax in front of goal and that’s not just the goalscorers, that’s everyone that gets a great chance.

“If we weren’t creating chances then I’d be a worried man and if we weren’t keeping clean sheets I’d be a worried man, but we are doing those things, so we’re moving in the right direction and to be brutally honest we’re not that far off.

This visit of Oxford on Saturday will see the return of a familiar face.

Former Blues Academy graduate Jack Payne will be back at Roots Hall for the first time since he moved to Huddersfield in 2016 and the Blues boss says he will be keeping an eye out for Payne as he knows what the talented midfielder can bring to the table.

“There’s a lot of talk about Jack coming back and rightly so as he’s a lovely kid, he served his time here,” Brown added.

“I would say Jack is one of the most successful Academy graduates the club have had but he came to the end of his contract and moved on and we wished him well.

“But now he's in the opposition’s team, and people will be asking the question is he a threat? Of course, he is a threat, you just have to look at where he is in terms of being the league leader of assists.

“Do I need to pay special attention to him when he’s on the ball? Of course you do, as he’s a creative player, but they also have other players in the team that finish off the moves that Jack creates.”

For tickets for Blues' clash against Oxford click here.

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