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A milestone for the Manager, a familiar face and transfer activity for the opposition

5 Things To Looks Out For

5 January 2018

Blues face 22nd placed Northampton Town this weekend and with the first game of the year going against Southend, the team are aiming to put things right with a win at Sixfields Stadium.

Here we take a look at five talking points ahead of the game...

A milestone for the manager

This weekend’s game against Northampton Town will mark Phil Brown’s 250th game in charge of Blues. Brown was appointed as Southend manager on 25th March 2013, with his first game coming against Bradford City on 29th March, which ended in a 2-2 draw. His 200th game in charge of Blues couldn’t have ended any better after Southend beat Scunthorpe United 3-1 on 4th February last season. Could Brown’s 250th Southend game end with the same celebrations?

A familiar face

Northampton Town appointed the services of former Blues defender Dean Austin, following the appointment of current boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who wanted the experienced defender as his assistant coach. Austin was, up until last season, part of Ricky Duncan’s youth set-up as he coached the U18s and U21s. He played for Blues between 1990-1992, helping Southend gain automatic promotion in his first season. Austin left Southend to join Tottenham in the summer of 1992, after making a total of 109 appearances. Can Blues beat the former players defensive tactics?

Team news

Blues:

There will be plenty to ponder for Phil Brown before filling in his 250th Blues line-up. Josh Wright has sustained a grade two hamstring tear and will be missing for around a month. Anton Ferdinand will also be missing, but his injury is not as serious as first thought, and both Michael Timlin and John White are 50/50 for the weekend. To ease the defensive problems, Michael Turner should be fit and Harry Kyprianou came through 90 minutes on his return from injury agains AFC Wimbledon. Brown has some tough choices across the pitch in his 250th game in charge.

Cobblers:

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has doubts over midfielder John-Joe O’Toole, after he played with a bruised ankle which has caused him issues. Daniel Powell is ruled out with a hamstring injury, Aaron Pierre and Alex Revell are both ruled out with groin injuries, Aaron Phillips is dealing with a thigh injury and Leon Barnett is nursing an achilles problem. Will Northampton survive without their key players?

In front of goal

The Cobblers have struggled in front of goal this season having only found the back of the net 20 times, with just nine of those coming at home. That makes the Cobblers a more successful team in front of goal when on the road. Blues, however, have scored 12 goals when away from home, which is still more than Northampton’s away goal tally this season. Can Blues break the banks against Northampton?

Fresh legs

Northampton have been active in the early stages of the transfer window this week. Hasselbaink welcomed 22-year-old Manchester City defender Shay Facey for an undisclosed fee most recently. The talented young defender can play at right back or centre back, giving Cobblers boss Hasselbaink another option in defence. They also brought in Portugese winger Hiderberto Pereira from Legia Warsaw on loan.


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