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Interviews

Campbell: "The connectivity is starting to come."

4 November 2019

Sol Campbell believes there are signs of improvement from his Southend United side and is hopeful that will turn itself into points.

Blues have lost out in Campbell’s first two games in charge, the latest a 1-0 defeat to Sunderland in which they looked more stable and compact as a unit.

That pleased the new manager at Roots Hall, but ahead of his return to his old club Portsmouth on Tuesday night, Campbell says hard work is the key to getting that first point on the board.

"We’re showing signs that we’re getting fitter and respecting the game, playing in the right areas and we’re starting to work that out,” said Campbell.

"That connectivity is starting to come with the new system, and the lads are starting to see that everyone needs to put in a shift and chip in if we’re to get points and stay up.

"For me it’s all about thickening up certain areas and freeing up certain players. That’s key.

"To utilise their natural ability but at the same time have a little bit of cover here and there.

"We needed to settle the whole team and get a hold of a system that we can play and players can play and learn quickly.

"Any win is good. The main thing for me is performances.

"Sunderland the lads put in a fantastic shift, we had moments and could have got a penalty.

"If you keep on working hard those half chances will start to go our way, but we’ve got to put the effort in first.

"As an individual and as a team we have to earn the right to win games.”

Campbell returns to Fratton Park where he won the FA Cup and made over 100 appearances.

And he knows better than anyone that keeping the fans quiet will be important.

"I’m looking forward to it [returning to his old club].

"I’ve been back a couple of times to watch a couple of games over the last two or three years but I’m looking forward to it.

"It’s always a great atmosphere there so the players have got to be ready. It’s an old-fashioned ground and the fans are on top of you.

"We need to set our stall out, do things easy and stick together as a unit. No gaps, ride it out and be tough and then start playing our football.

"The main thing is keeping the fans quiet. Do things simple, play a simple game, make sure we’re backing each other up and make them work for every single pass. That’s what it’s about at Fratton Park.

"It’s all about clearing our lines, starting again and playing football in the areas and that’s what I’ll be saying to the players.”

Campbell added: "It’s a fantastic club. I won the FA Cup there and we had some really good memories.

"It’s a proper, hardcore fanbase and a great crowd. Sometimes it can be quite feisty but they’re very vocal if they’re winning or losing.

"No one has the divine right to be anywhere. They’re here now [in League One] and that’s how it is.

"The main thing is they’re stable now behind the scenes which the fans really wanted.”


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