From now until the end of the season, a member of The Blue Voice (TBV) will be posting their thoughts and comments from the games in the previous weeks, and previewing the game ahead.
This week focusses on the atmosphere last weekend, this week's events, and our final seven games.
(The views expressed in this column are of TBV and do not, neccessarily, reflect those of the club.)
On Tuesday, the decision was made to unfortunately terminate Chris Powell's contract, following a string of defeats leaving us sitting just above the relegation zone on goal difference with just 7 games left to go. Whilst I will get to talking about that in just a few minutes time, I just wanted to take a moment to talk about the Peterborough game on Saturday.
From the moment the teams came out to warm up, to the moment the final whistle went, the crowd were incredibly loud and supportive of the team. Unfortunately, nearer the end, we did have some negativity breaking through from the crowd, however, the rest of the crowd were very quick to drown that out with continuing to support the team. Whilst personally, I didn't decide to clap the players for their performance, I did continue to support them and encourage them after the final whistle, to the irritation of a very select minority of our crowd. But, I don't decide to dwell on the negatives, I will focus instead on the positives, and they were many positives to take from the support we took to Peterborough. Over 900 Shrimpers made the 200 mile trip to the ABAX Stadium, which considering our current situation, is incredible. A huge thanks for that has to go to Ron Martin for laying on free coach travel for the fans, increasing the away attendance from 500-600 to well over 900. Of that 900, pretty much everyone was behind the team from start, to finish, and for that, we have to say thank you to those who continued to support the team. Whilst we didn't get the result we wanted to get, we, as fans, continued to support the team as much as we physically could, even when we were up against it and beaten at 2-0. This has to continue in our final 7 games of this season, the team continue to need our support, they need us to continue to be the 12th man that we were on Saturday, regardless of what the final 7 games has in store for us.
Moving on from Saturday, and as mentioned earlier on, Chris Powell was relieved of his duties as Southend United manager following the defeat on Saturday. Now, personally I know a few people have mixed opinions on the decision, but for me, after reflecting on it, it was the right call. Injuries aside, we were in real deep trouble after Saturday, and unfortunately something had to give. I know Chris is a club legend, and his stint at Southend and how it ended won't affect his status as a club legend, especially after reading his open letter published in the Echo addressing the fans. Whether or not this is the right decision so close to the end of the season and with so little games left, is still very much unclear and won't be clear until the final whistle of the final game of the season is blown, but as fans, we have to continue backing the team regardless. But, following his open letter to the fans, I, and many other fans involved with TBV felt it right to respond to Chris' comments and thank him for everything that he has done for the club over the past year and a bit. We will remember the good times fondly, and hopefully as you say, the whole squad will be stronger for this season going forwards. Hopefully one day, we may cross paths again, whether that be at Roots Hall, or in a new stadium. The fans respect you, even more so after your touching open letter to them on Tuesday evening, and I would love to make it known from everyone involved with TBV, that you are always welcome to join the Southend faithful in the terraces, home and away, and continue to support our incredible team.
On behalf of everyone involved in TBV and SUFC, thank you Chris, best of luck in whatever you do in the future.
Following on from what Chris says in his open letter, we do have 7 massive games to go, and the team continue to need our support as fans. We are 20th in the league, but we do have the calibre of players that will pull out all the stops to survive the drop, but they NEED our help. Confidence is low, and singing/chanting sarcastic or abusive chants at the team won't magically give the players a boost. The game is huge, and TBV will be doing absolutely everything we can in the stands to help the team find some confidence as we bid to get 3 vital points on Saturday against 19th in the league. Regardless of who the manager is on Saturday, or who the next manager is going to be in the future and when that manager comes in etc, let's get down to Roots Hall on Saturday, and get right behind the team. We don't want to see this team drop into the basement division of the Football League, and TBV are committed in the final 7 games to do absolutely everything we can possibly do to help the team dig down deep and escape the situation we currently find ourselves in.
We are Southend... UNITED.
Everyone involved with TBV