Phil Brown watched his Blues side grind out a hard-fought 1-0 win against AFC Wimbledon this evening with Jason Demetriou’s deflected effort the difference between sides.
Following the result, which secured back-to-back wins for Southend for the first time this season, the Blues boss spoke to the club and gave us his thoughts on the victory.
On the Wimbledon win…
I’m delighted with the clean-sheet, I always am, but the level of performance with the ball compared to Saturday was almost chalk and cheese.
You’ve got to give them [AFC Wimbledon] credit. They’ve come on the back of a 2-0 home defeat to MK Dons. Wimbledon are two different sides, at home and away from home, and they came here to frustrate.
Not just frustrate, but when they half smelled that we weren’t right at it they started pushing it around and playing and they caused us a lot of problems. We got in at half-time with a clean sheet at 0-0 and we could have been behind quite simply.
It was the discipline of the side I was disappointed with at times when we were giving silly free-kicks away and inviting balls into our penalty box. Eventually, at any level, something will give.
But we got in at half-time at 0-0, I had a real go at them. The way we trained last week was leading up to the game against Fleetwood and the way we trained yesterday wasn’t right and I was fearful that something like this was going to happen.
However, that’s probably the luckiest 1-0 I’ve had. It could have gone against us, but it’s about time we had some luck and I’m delighted that our luck has come in this game.
On pushing on after back-to-back wins…
We’re here to win the game of football and we’ve won the game of football. Now we’ve got two back-to-back wins, we’re looking onwards and upwards towards Saturday and that’s a better frame of mind to be in any day of the week.
We sensed last week that there was wind in their sails and that we were coming. The 2-0 half-time scoreline against Northampton and then bringing it back, that puffed a bit of win in the sails again and we never lost the game.
We’re undefeated at Roots Hall. Can it become a fortress? It has to. I know we’ve drawn three out of five, we’ve drawn too many games at Roots Hall, but having said that we haven’t lost them.
Now we’ve got back to back wins we need to push on and we need to be bang at it against Blackpool on Saturday. Preparation starts now. We’ve got to start thinking about Blackpool and start thinking can we get nine points from the week. We’ve got six, we’ve done the majority of our business, we need to do a little bit more now.
On the player’s fitness…
We had a couple of sick and wounded at half-time. I was looking at Anton, he tightened up on his thigh, Michael Timlin got a knock on the thigh which is more of a dead leg.
I’ve just said to the players we’ve got enough games under our belt for Woody [Anthony Wordsworth] to be through. Not quite as many as what [Nile] Ranger’s got so Ranger’s got enough games under his belt to have a full pre-season after what he’s gone through in the summer so there are no excuses now.
If we’re coming into full fitness then we need to be expressing ourselves a little bit better with the ball and that sometimes comes down to fitness but also comes down to the hard work and the organisation of the opposition.
I have to take my hat off to them [AFC Wimbledon], they came here with a game plan to frustrate us and they absolutely frustrated us and more than surprised me when they had possession.
Did they deserve something from the game? Probably Neal [Ardley] is going to come in here and say “yes they should.” Would I say the same? I probably would, but at the same time, I’ve come away from games drawing them and thought we should have won that game, today the shoe is on the other foot which is a lovely feeling.