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Preview: Oxley looks ahead to Blackpool

9 August 2019

Mark Oxley says the squad have adapted well to Kevin Bond’s style of play.

Oxley was chosen in goal last weekend to face Coventry City which ended in a narrow defeat.

The 28-year-old is now asked as the goalkeeper to build out from the back and start attacks in a way not seen from a Southend side of late.

And Oxley says the players are well suited to play that way with Mark Milligan playing an important role.

“As you saw last week the manager wants us to play more than we probably have in the past but everyone has bought into that really well.

“We’ve got really good footballers at the club and as players we have to buy into it. It’s a bit of getting used to but we’ve got good players in the squad that can adapt to that.

“It’s no good players coming in and not wanting to do it, and everyone that has come in has been brilliant.

“Milly [Mark Milligan] has been brought in and he’s been brilliant as that pivot in midfield and someone who always want to take the ball.

“If we keep doing it and keep working at it we can only get better.”

Oxley was given the nod ahead of Nathan Bishop to start in goal last weekend.

And he added it’s not just him that’s aware of the competition in the squad to make the starting XI.

“There’s competition for places everywhere, not just me.

“From where we were at the start of pre-season to what we’ve got in now, everyone’s got to be on the money otherwise there’s people fighting for your shirt.

“We all get on well together but at the end of the day it’s about wanting to play on a Saturday so you have to do your best to prepare for that and when you’re not in the team, doing your best to prepare for that as well.

“As you saw last weekend, the players that came off the bench were brilliant.

“You can’t be too disheartened when you’re not in the side and need to be ready for when the chance comes.”

Ahead of facing Blackpool, Oxley says Blues need to start the game how the finished it at St Andrew’s.

“It’s about a reaction. Games come around quickly and we know how hard the division is but we’ve prepared well and we’ll be firing on all cylinders to get a positive result.

“It’s about turning chances into goals now.”

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