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Ricky Duncan and Kevin Maher preview the game against Rochdale

19 January 2018

Blues’ Academy Manager Ricky Duncan and Head of Under 23’s Kevin Maher have been handed the temporary reigns of Southend United’s first team, following the club’s decision to dismiss Phil Brown and his management team, with this Saturday’s game being the first time both have taken charge of Blues...

With the recent change in backroom staff, Blues are aiming to turn around the season and Duncan and Maher both believe that tomorrow’s game could be the start of it.

On taking charge of Blues ahead of this weekend’s fixture...

Kevin: It was a bit of a shock, it was disappointing to see the manager and his team leave because of how close they were with everyone at the club. But, we’ve both got to prepare for the game on Saturday and do as well as we can in that respect, get the players prepared as much as we can do and try and win a game of football.

On the players' reaction...

Ricky: We had a chat with the players before we went out for training in the morning and we explained the situation and where we see it at the moment and I thought the training session went really well. We checked all the stats afterwards and everyone put a good shift in yesterday, but they are professionals and I wouldn’t expect anything different from this group of players.

Will you look to change anything while in charge?

Ricky: The two of us are going to put our own spin on it. It won't be a carbon copy, we're going to try and do something our way. We tried something different in training yesterday and the way we're preparing for the game is slightly different, otherwise what's the point. We have to make sure that while we're sitting in this seat, we do it the way we think is right and together we have known each other a long time so there's no reason why we shouldn't try things and have a go. That's what we'' do tomorrow.

On the style of football being played...

Ricky: I have been here for 12 years, coming into my 13th season and I have seen us go up and down and play all types of football. I believe that we have just hit a bad patch and we have to get out of it, it’s as simple as that. There’s still enough games to go and if you look at the league it’s a tight league and we just need to start putting points on the board."

On their excitement ahead of the game...

Kevin: It's a massive honour. Any time you get the opportunity to lead a team out, especially at this club where we have both been associated for a long time. Rick's put his heart and soul into the club in the Academy, I was here as a player for a long time. It means a lot to us. It does mean an awful lot to us. It's important to get a result because we know the situation we're in at the minute. We're in a bad run of form, we just know we've got to get a result.

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