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Reaction: Harlow Town 0-4 Southend United U23s

22 July 2019

Southend United U23s were 4-0 winners in their latest pre-season friendly against Harlow Town on Saturday.

Matt Rush (pictured) scored a hat-trick with Freddy Eastwood getting the other goal.

And Academy Manager Ricky Duncan was pleased to see a good performance from the Blues youngsters.

Duncan on the 4-0 win in their second game of pre-season…

We played Fulham the week before which ended in a 4-2 loss but there were some young players playing for us in that game. This time we had four players who dropped back down who had been training with the first team and came back into the squad.

We played some really good football, moved the ball around really well and fitness levels showed in the end and we looked quite strong as well. I’m really pleased for Matt Rush who scored a hat-trick and also Freddy Eastwood who got on the scoresheet.

On Matt Rush…

Obviously we have strikers in front of Matt who are within the first team environment so this year is more about developing him and hoping that he can get over and train with the first team from time to time but really we want him to be playing for the 23s and to continue scoring like he did on Saturday. His goals were well taken, good movement and some good play, he finished them off well. He’s always been a goalscorer and I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes this year.

On who else impressed in the victory…

All the players impressed us on the day, we handled the situation quite well. The game was on astro-turf and they wanted to get at us, but the boys played around them and kept the ball very well, moved it from side to side and at times we could have been a little bit more cutting, gone forward a bit more and really put them to the sword but we were in control of the game which was pleasing to see. Michael Klass and Harry Phillips dropping down as well as Tom Clifford and Rob Howard, it must have been hard for them, but they showed their professional side and got on and did the job.

On what’s next for the U23s…

We’ve got Colchester coming up but this weekend we’re at Maidstone which will be a bigger challenge for the boys. They are quite a combative side and quite strong so we have that Saturday then obviously Colchester away on a Tuesday in a few weeks as well as some tough games against Brentwood and Aveley.

Starting XI: Seaden, Howard, Knock, Mitchell-Nelson, Clifford, Egbri, Klass, Anderson, Phillips, Kinali, Rush

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