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Chris Powell looks ahead to his first game in charge

26 January 2018

Chris Powell takes charge of his first game as Southend United Manager against Scunthorpe this weekend.

The former Blues left-back was appointed on Tuesday and has had a few days working with the players in preparation for his return to Roots Hall in the dugout.

But Powell said having his first game at home won’t have a particular bearing.

“Yes and no. It is what it is. You take each game on its merits.

“As I said to the boys, we’ve got 18 games but actually it’s one. It’s the next one. That’s what it is. It’s the next one.

“We’re doing our best to arrest the slide that we’ve had in terms of results. We know it won’t be easy and we’re really going to have to show our battling qualities in sticky situations to get themselves out of it.

“It’s very easy to just sink under and say this is what’s been happening, it’s going to happen again. Well, no. You make it change. You make it change as an individual and as a team.

“I’m looking forward to being back to Roots Hall. Everyone has been reminding me about the pitch but we can’t do nothing about it now. We’ve got to play it right and when we have those moments of opportunities, we’ve got to make sure we make them count.”

Blues’ trip to Rochdale was called off last week meaning it’s one win in nine still.

And Powell said squad unity will be so important in their goal to climb the Sky Bet League One table.

“You need that togetherness and spirit,” he said. “That takes you a long way.

“Any team that has been successful, primarily you look at how they get on, how they work for each other, we always know you’re not going to be friends with everyone, but what you do need is everyone working for 90 minutes, for their team-mate and being committed for themselves.

“There’s some good experienced players that know their way around difficult times during a course of a season. We’ve got some young players who I feel will really improve and have good careers here and maybe elsewhere, but it’s about now. It’s about what they do in each and every training session and game.”

Powell added that he’s still settling into his new job but he’s been impressed with the early signs.

“It’s been a great few days. I’m getting to know my way around and trying to put my stamp on things.

“It’s going to take time, but time is a little bit against us in regards to 18 games to go. We need to get going as soon as.

“It’s been a tough time for everyone, I understand that. Confidence can be low, but let me tell you the group, and I’ve only had one session with them myself, they’re very attentive, they want to do well, they want to do well for each other, they want to do well for the club.

“I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen, I know I can get more out of them, and I’ve told them I’m going to demand more out of them.

“I’m looking forward to what will be a tough game for us on Saturday.”

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