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Reaction: Brown on Walsall victory, John White and Blues' strike partners

28 October 2017

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Phil Brown was in celebratory mood as Simon Cox’s first-half strike secured Blues a 1-0 win away at Walsall on the day the gaffer’s daughter, Sophie, celebrates her 17th birthday.

Following the win at the Banks’s Stadium – Walsall’s first defeat at home this season – the Southend boss gave us his thoughts on the win.

On the Walsall victory…

There’s a smile on my face for a couple of reasons; it’s my daughter’s birthday and I was going to go up the road to celebrate her 17th birthday, and it’s difficult when you go on the back of a defeat or the back of a poor performance.

Everybody did their job today and Mark Oxley is expected to make saves and he has done. Clean sheet goes down to a lot of individuals, but the togetherness, the team spirit, the work rate, they’re the main ingredients for the clean-sheet and the win.

I don’t think it was just playing well, it was the work rate was a collective work rate.

I thought we were very, very resilient today. I don’t particularly subscribe to 1-0’s when you should be seeing teams off, but it still shows you there’s a good mentality as we’ve now gone three games and conceded one goal.

On the performance of John White…

That’s back to our best defensively. I think you’re seeing that because of the re-emergence of Anton Ferdinand but his partner more than anything else. I think John White was outstanding today.

I thought he defended for his life. He headed everything and he had four or five strikers [to deal with], different types of strikers when they made the changes. So, they’ve had to work hard for the clean-sheet and certainly in the second half when Walsall threw a little bit of caution to the wind.

On the match-winner Simon Cox and his strike partner Marc-Antoine Fortune…

I had a long chat with Coxy [Simon Cox], he wants to stay at the football club, I can see that. Players want to go up, players want to get promoted.

They can see a togetherness, they can see a quality in the team but when your goal scorers are scoring goals, I’ve got no arguments then and Coxy’s got the match winner.

Where Marco [Marc-Antoine Fortune] is concerned, he’s forcing his way into being my number one number nine, or number one striker. He adds goals to his game, we’ve got a hell of a player on our hands.

He’s had a couple of great chances, ‘keeper made a save from one of them, but that second goal I was looking for, I thought the fresh legs might have got that. 

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