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Match-winner Humphrys expresses his delight at keeping Blues in League One

8 May 2019

Saturday’s match-winner Stephen Humphrys was quick to dedicate his goal to the supporters who have stuck by the team this season.

The masked hero, as he has been dubbed since scoring to make it 2-1 against the Black Cats, was on cloud nine much like the Blues faithful over the weekend.

Having experienced a similar feeling staying up on the final day while on loan at Rochdale last season, Humphrys also said he took inspiration from their former defender Joe Thompson who beat cancer twice and then scored the crucial goal to save his side.

Humphrys spoke to the press following the dramatic win and had plenty to say about the occasion.

On playing for those few minutes in that game….

I can’t really explain it to be honest, I don’t actually know how long I was on for. I was absolutely blowing and was shattered, I did about two sprints and thought I’m no use to anyone here. The fans were ridiculous today, they were with us from the first to the last minute and they deserve that.

On what was going through his mind when the ball dropped to him…

You can’t really say what your thinking when it happens but when it does happen it’s just an instinct. As a striker you don’t really lose that so as the ball dropped to me straight away you think shoot and I managed to put it in the back of the net. I can’t describe that feeling.

On the celebrations…

Everyone’s over the moon, we’re all singing songs and everyone’s spraying champagne everywhere. We were confident today going into the game and we knew what our game plan was, we stuck to it and unfortunately it didn’t work out perfectly until the end but once we got that last goal we knew this is our time and we deserve it. 

On whether he thought Southend’s hopes were over…

Football’s football, I was at Rochdale last season and we stayed up on the very last day of the season as well. Everyone knows that Joe Thompson beat cancer twice, he was a hero last season and that for me you can never say never. If he can beat cancer twice and come back to save Rochdale then anything is possible really.

On overcoming his injury and being right mentally…

On the bench I was thinking I don’t really want to head the ball and to just avoid getting a hit in the face, then as soon as I got onto the pitch I forgot all of that and it was like you have a job to do. With so much on the line you can’t think about yourself you have to think about the team and the fans, that’s all I thought about and thankfully it fell to me and I managed to put the icing on the cake.

On his thoughts going into next season…

It has to be better. Hopefully we won’t be as unlucky as we have been with injuries, I think that’s had a massive part to play. Tom Hopper’s been injured and he’s a proven goal scorer if we would have had him fit, Rob Kiernan fit and people like that who have experience and are good pros I don’t even think we would have been in this situation. It goes without saying, next season we will be better as long as everyone’s fit. 

On whether it is his favourite ever goal…

The goal at Wembley was more of a personal achievement because we didn’t win the game but today was for everyone in Southend. That’s not my goal, that was Southend United’s winning goal. It’s the manager’s goal, it’s the chef’s goal, it’s the cleaner’s goal, it’s the fans’ goal; it’s Southend United’s winning goal and we deserve it. We’ve worked tirelessly every week and like I’ve said we’ve been so unlucky with injuries but everyone deserved that today.

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