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Preview: Blues v Reading U21s - Checkatrade Trophy

2 October 2017

Southend United boss Phil Brown is hoping to keep the winning run going on Tuesday night in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Blues picked up their third win in three games last Saturday with a 2-1 win over Blackpool.

And the Blues chief says momentum will be key ahead of Doncaster Rovers on Saturday in League One.

“Having got nine points from three games in a great week, we’ve got to carry that on,” said Brown.

“Not just the momentum of winning games, but the momentum of producing players through the Academy, which is something that Ricky Duncan prides himself on and the club in particular.

“It has absolutely astounded me that in the catchment area that we’re in, which includes the likes of West Ham, Arsenal and Spurs and big teams in the Premier League, that we are still producing players that can play first team football.

“It should never be underestimated any young kid going into any first team. We’ve had three or four that have done that already this season and hopefully that will continue long term.

“Three games in a week is something that we should be well versed at which we proved last week, but the fatigue factor at the end of the game [on Saturday will be a factor].

“The most important game for me is the Doncaster game out of the two this week but it gives me an opportunity to see some of the young lads.”

On Scott Marshall’s Reading U21 side, Brown added: “We’ve got two match reports from [Head Scout] Bob Shaw. They’re a young team and they’re notoriously good at producing young players, bringing them through and playing football in the right way.

“They will have energy and organisation, which you expect from any U21 side regardless if they’re a Championship or Premier League team.

“They will try and out football us and won’t change their methods or mentality and we need to stand up to that.

“Whatever team I put out there, we need to be as good as them with the ball.”

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