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4 September 2020

Mark Molesley is looking forward to taking charge of his Southend side for the first time this weekend.

The 39-year-old will lead Blues into battle against Gillingham on Saturday for the first time since joining last month.

And ahead of the Carabao Cup Round One tie at Priestfield Stadium, the recently appointed manager is relishing the challenge coming up against Steve Evans’ side.

"I’m very excited, it’s a very proud moment for me and my staff to lead the team and one we’re thoroughly looking forward to,” said Molesley.

"It’s competition football right away and we go into every game wanting to win.

"We’ve got to make sure we’re as professional as we can, prepare the best we can and look after what we can.

"The attitude and the application has been great from the lads but we’ll see how we fare in our first game.

"It’s always difficult [to know what to expect from Gillingham] without a competitive game for six months.

"We’ll always do our due diligence and give the other team the respect they deserve, none more so than Gillingham who are a very good side.

"They have very experienced management so it’s going to be a tough challenge.”

It will be the first time Blues have played since March which means the first time playing behind-closed-doors.

But Molesley has a bit of experience in that, having led Weymouth in the play-offs just last month.

"I think you’ve got to create your own tempo, create your own atmosphere but hopefully motivation is high in the group at the moment,” Molesley said on the topic of not having supporters in the ground to cheer on the team.

"We’ve fortunately just prepped a team for the play-offs in our old team, Weymouth.

"We’ve got clear processes and we need to focus on that and make sure that we work as hard as we can to put a good product on the pitch, so that when we do get fans back behind us they’ll want to come and watch us.

"We’ve got to make sure we put the hard yards in now and put a product on the pitch that people want to get behind.

"The boys have been full throttle for us and that’s great.

"The real stuff starts now and we’ll find out a lot more [about the players].”

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