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Yearwood out to build on eye-catching performances

12 February 2018

Dru Yearwood was the focus of Saturday's Roots Review.

The matchday programme featured Yearwood who spoke about his rise into the first team this season.

Here's the interview in full..

Yearwood out to build on eye-catching performances

Dru Yearwood has excelled in the centre of midfield for Southend United in the victories over Scunthorpe United and Peterborough United.

At just 17-years-old, and after being catapulted into the first-team in pre-season, this campaign has been a rapid rise for the youngster, who incidentally is still learning to drive.

But arguably his most impressive showings have come in his previous two outings, in both of new Blues boss Chris Powell’s opening games in charge. In the first of them, Yearwood was chosen as the sponsor’s Man of the Match.

And after catching the eye alongside the experienced Michael Timlin and showing characteristics beyond his age, Yearwood is eager to repay the faith that is being shown to him by his new manager.

“I’m really enjoying it,” said Yearwood. “I’m just aiming for more of the same now, but it’s tough because there is healthy competition for places in the squad.

“I think when you’re young you need as many minutes as possible, but sometimes it’s hard for the manager to give you that all the time. But the gaffer has put his faith in me in the last two games and I have to thank him for that.

“He says to me it’s another opportunity, just play with a smile on your face and with as much freedom as you can. That’s it.

“I’ve loved every minute of it and I just want more. I want more games.”

In total this season the energetic midfielder has played 13 games in varying capacities. He has played on the right-hand side of midfield, in a diamond formation as well as his natural position as a two in midfield.

Powell has been impressed by his maturity as much as his quality in his first two weeks in charge.

And Yearwood said the recently appointed new manager has brought renewed confidence to the squad.

“He’s been great,” he added. “One thing that he’s done for us really well is he’s not changed much. We’re used to our usual routine and he’s just added little bits.

“The gaffer has given us a bit of confidence and a bit of freedom to be fair. He’s asked us how we want to play and that’s what we’re doing.

“He’s said it’s down to the players now and I think that’s why the togetherness is more now and why as a squad we’re growing.

“I’ve really seen the squad come together in the last few weeks and I think that has shown in the performances as well.”

In amongst the last two results – which have moved Blues up to 15th in the Sky Bet League One table – has been widespread praise for Yearwood.

But he himself hasn’t taken too much on board.

“I listen to bits of it but I think what I hear from the gaffer directly are the best things. It’s not like I have to listen to the press for him to tell me, he will tell me if I’m playing well and equally when I’m not.”

While Yearwood plays in League One for Blues, most of his friends are still in school. It goes to show how far he has come this season.

“The whole season for me has been brilliant. To be fair I didn’t expect it, but I’m here now and I’m happy I’m here.

“There’s more for me to do but I just want to play as many games as I can this season.

“Although I am part of the squad, I still feel like an U18 playing first team football. Although I play with them on a Saturday, I’m still an U18.

“Some of my friends are still at sixth form and things like that and I’m playing League One football, so I’m buzzing with that.”

But after back-to-back wins, Yearwood’s only focus today is helping Blues try and stop the league leaders.

“It’s a massive game. Wigan are flying at the moment, but after the last two games we have to be confident.

“We’re at home so we will need the crowd right behind us, but I think with their backing we can get a result, whether it’s one point or three.”

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