Unbeaten in 2020 Southend United travel to Doncaster Rovers tonight hoping to build on their victory against Accrington Stanley last time out.
In what was the first under Sol Campbell, Blues have now won one, drawn five and lost two in their last eight games dating back to the start of December.
And Campbell believes the team spirit in the squad is really good and he said the team will not give up in their fight to avoid relegation.
Pre-match thoughts from the Blues boss...
On picking up the momentum after the Accrington win
We’re on a nice run, it’s shaping up but obviously there’s always bumps in the road and we need to re-organise ourselves again. I’m happy with the team, they’re working really hard and it was great to get a win [against Accrington] but football in January is an interesting time for us. We’ll carry on, everyone is fine and fit so we’re ready.
[The break] is only a week. We played on Saturday [a training game] and got some time with the players. I wanted to mix around some of the players and see different scenarios. That was good for me, it was good practice, I got a lot out of it, we filmed it. I got enough out of that training session on Saturday and hopefully we can take it on for the next game.
On standing up to those bumps in the road
For sure I’m chuffed to bits with the way the players are standing up to them. Football and life there’s all sorts of things that happen and players are ill or get a slight injury you have to readjust. That’s what it’s all about. The team are becoming flexible and strong, a little bit of belief is coming back into the team and I feel that. Nothing is over yet and we have to keep going.
On gaining confidence from the Accrington win
It’s good to get it, I hoped it would’ve come earlier. We had chances to kill games off and it’s not worth crying over spilled milk but there was Rotherham and MK Dons where we had really good chances to kill the game off. It’s good for morale, it’s good for the balance and the buoyancy of the team, and also individuals as well To start believing they can hold a game together, not lose their structure, withstand attacks and a little bit of pressure. It’s nice to see they are responding to that with some team spirit going on there; we will need that now for the rest of the season big time.
On the striking options after losing Tom Hopper
Firstly with Tom going, good luck to him. He’s a great lad, he put everything into football, his work ethic was fantastic and good luck to him for the future. That’s the nature of football sometimes and he will be sadly missed.
We’ve got other options and we’ve got to work through those options and we are, we’ve just to find the right combination.
On showing progress from the reverse fixture when going to the Keepmoat Stadium tonight
For sure there is definitely progress since the last time we met. They’re a great side, they move the ball quickly, especially in midfield, so we have to make sure we stand up to that kind of movement and rotation and be good in the one-on-one duels. We’ve got to set our stall out properly and when we get our chance, go for it.
On Tim Dieng’s fitness
We don’t want to risk him and I don’t think he will be ready. It’s 10 days [to recover] so we have to see what happens for this Saturday, if not he will be ready for the following Saturday.
It is what it is for us at the moment. We’ve got great team spirit, a good squad, but sometimes things can happen and people move on and we have to readjust. It’s not a straight forward January but we’ve just got to get on with it.