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Campbell: "We’ve got to compete, that’s the first rule."

24 October 2019

Sol Campbell gave his first press conference on Thursday as Southend United manager.

In a long interview with the assembled media, Blues' new boss covered many topics about why he took the job, the challenge he faces, how to turn the team's fortunes around, the similarities between this job and his previous one at Macclesfield Town and the potential of the club.

The first of two parts to Sol’s interview is available to watch for free on iFollow Blues with the second part released on Friday.

You can read Campbell's thoughts on the move to Blues below…

On what his priorities are…

It’s normal, with a lot of losses, that comes with a lack of confidence, so I have to build that in.

We can definitely do that in how we set up and getting fitter, understanding the roles. I think that’s very important for all the players to understand their roles and get fitter and stronger.

As you get stronger in your own position the confidence will come, but we need to start winning games and be able to be competitive. That’s the main thing really.

Every time we go out on the pitch we’ve got to compete, that’s the first rule in order to go toe-to-toe with whoever we’re playing.

On taking challenges throughout his career…

It’s a new challenge for sure. That’s obvious.

It’s a step up, but as a step up comes all the responsibilities because you’re in a higher league, on average they’re better players so you’ve got to really step your game up.

Me personally with the players I’ve got, we’ve got step up, train hard, do more and overachieve now.

We’ve got a deficit and we have to close that deficit. But the main thing is performances-wise, that’s got to go up another level.

Instead of being on the back foot we’ve got to be on the front foot.

That will take time and confidence, but we will try to do that. That’s the main thing. And we will work hard and work towards that.

On how much he draws on the experience at Macclesfield…

In all experiences you can take the good, the bad and the ugly. For me it’s all about moving on, about progression, improving as a manager, and this is a challenge.

We’ve got some good players here, but we need to start working towards being competitive as a team, we’ve got be able to compete and we’ve not really been doing that.

We will work towards that.

On the first three matches…

It’s all good. There’s all sorts of connections. I watched Ipswich last night and they had a tough outing, but they can still play good football so we’ve got our work cut out for sure.

We can take advantages of how Ipswich are playing but we need to step up our game really, to be able to compete.

Hopefully the team can respond to that and start on a good footing, and that’s down to me really.

Sunderland as well, a huge club, great resources.

And then Portsmouth! I know Portsmouth inside out, so they’re tough outings but it’s a challenge for the lads to be ready and relishing.

That’s what I want from the lads, to be able to say right OK we’ve got these big games coming up, we’ve got to be up for it.

On how he will approach games…

We have to go out every single game and go for it.

If you’re going into games at 80 per cent you never know your true level in the individual games. And that’s why you’ve got to push yourself and in every game get better and better, fitter and fitter and that’s what we’ve got to do as a team.

I’ll definitely be doing that as a manager. We’ve got our work cut out but we’re ready for the challenge.

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