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Brown on Ryan Leonard and Doncaster Rovers

5 October 2017

Phil Brown has paid tribute to Ryan Leonard’s attitude as he prepares to make his 250th appearance for Southend United.

The midfielder – who has been at Blues since 2011 – has started every league game so far this season and is expected to return to the side on Saturday against Doncaster Rovers after sitting out the midweek Checkatrade Trophy game.

And the Blues boss was full of praise for the 25-year-old.

“Lenny is a great example to anyone in football, not just the academy we’ve got here,” he said.

“He’s 25 now and with 250 games under his belt hopefully on Saturday, it’s reminiscent of my career.

“You go back and think about what got me to 250 at 25, what was it that got me to 500 at 30, what was it that got me to 750 when I was 35. One, you have to have the right mentality and attitude, and two, you have to be lucky with injuries.

“Lenny works so hard off the field that it doesn’t surprise me that he’s playing week-in-week-out, touch wood, and that he continues to play week-in-week-out for Southend United.”

Blues will be hoping to make it five wins on the bounce this weekend at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Darren Ferguson’s side are currently 19th having most recently in the league lost 2-0 away at Bradford City.

“We’re probably coming into a game against a side who are the opposite to what we are at the moment.

“I think they’ve lost six out of the last seven but if you have a look at the opposition that they’ve faced, they’ve faced some really tough opposition. Arsenal being one, Shrewsbury being one, Bradford another one and Scunthorpe.

“But you look at the home league form in particular and they haven’t won at home this season yet, but that will change.

“We’ve got to make sure on Saturday with the moment that we’re in, the form that we’re in, the confidence that we’re feeling, that we go in there full of confidence and express ourselves.

“I had the beauty of seeing them play at the Emirates, and I’m not sure how much I can draw from that, but you see the style of a manager in place, and Darren’s style is similar to his father’s.

“He wants to play football in the right way, but he wants to win.

“At this moment in time they’re not having a good time, and we are. We have to emphasise that point on Saturday.”

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