Barrow vs Southend United...
Tomorrow sees Blues make their final away trip of the season and the fixture gods have saved the longest journey till last as Southend make the 640-mile round trip to take on Barrow.
The Bluebirds secured another season in League Two with their win against Forest Green on Tuesday, but Phil Brown’s side know that only a win can keep their survival hopes alive.
Results elsewhere though could still send Blues down regardless of how they get on, but all Southend can do is concentrate on themselves come kick-off at the Progression Solicitors Stadium.
Last weekend’s victory against Leyton Orient was the first under Phil Brown since he returned for his second spell as Southend boss and is Blues’ only win in their last six games.
The remaining five games of that spell saw Southend pick up three draws against Morecambe, Exeter and Crawley, and suffer defeats to Carlisle and Colchester.
Barrow’s aforementioned win against Forest Green in midweek ended a run of three straight defeats for the Bluebirds. In their last six they’ve won two, drawn one and lost three.
Last League Meeting
Saturday 9th January 2021
Southend United 1-0 Barrow
Hackett-Fairchild 3’, Halford Sent Off 52’
Blues had to survive practically the whole of the second-half with 10 men to pick up a vital 1-0 win against Barrow as Reeco Hackett-Fairchild marked his birthday and debut with the winner.
The midfielder scored in just the third minute with a beautiful curling effort, but after Greg Halford saw red early in the second-half it was backs against the wall for Blues who held on for the victory.
From The Boss
“My message this morning when I looked at the league table, there’s no brackets ‘R’ next to our name. It’s not a rude awakening, there’s no (R) next to us.
“We’re not down, we’re certainly not out and we’ll show on Saturday that we’re still fighting.
“If we can keep it going until the last game of the season, stranger things have happened.”
“We’ve got to go on that coach tomorrow and travel the length and breadth of the country to a place that isn’t going to be very welcoming, to a side that rightly so have survived by performing well on Tuesday.
“Fingers crossed they think they’ve done enough and fingers crossed I’m hoping we bring the same mentality and attitude that we did against Leyton Orient in particular.”
Blues Team News
All three injury concerns from last weekend’s win against Leyton Orient will travel to Barrow tomorrow afternoon as Phil Brown looks to have as many options available as possible.
Timothee Dieng (hamstring) only lasted 26 minutes against Orient and has not been training with the group this week but he has been working on his fitness.
Nathan Ferguson (calf) is another facing a race to be fit for the weekend having limped off in the second-half on Saturday, while Ricky Holmes (ankle) is rated as ‘touch-and-go’ by Brown.
Alan McCormack (calf) is a certain absentee as is Jason Demetriou who is serving the second of his three-game ban for his red card picked up against Colchester.
Scott Quigley is undoubtedly going to be Barrow’s biggest threat on Saturday with the 28-year-old being the driving force behind the Bluebirds getting in and staying in the Football League.
Quigley scored 20 goals in all competitions last year to fire Barrow to promotion and has followed that up with 14 this term, nine of which have come since the turn of the year.
And in that 14 have been some vital strikes of late in key games, including the late clincher against Exeter and the opening goal in their survival-clinching victory against Forest Green on Tuesday.
Blues’ trip to Barrow will be officiated by Martin Coy. The Durham referee will have Steven Rushton and Ollie Williams as his assistants and Graham Salisbury as the fourth official.
Coy has taken charge of 29 games so far this season and has shown a total of 74 yellow cards and five reds, with his last outing being the 1-0 win for Bolton at home to Carlisle.
Tomorrow will be Coy’s first trip to Barrow since March 2017 and will be his first Southend game since the 0-0 draw away at Bury in February 2018.
Social Media Boycott and iFollow Blues
Southend United will be joining the rest of the EFL and the Premier League, as well as The FA, Women’s Super League, Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out and the FSA in a social media boycott this weekend, starting from today (Friday 30th April) at 3pm.
The boycott is to emphasise that social media companies need to do more to combat and eradicate all forms of online hate, and to highlight the need for education in the fight against discrimination, with the boycott not ending until 23:59 on Monday 3rd May.
As a result, there will be no updates from the club’s official Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts of tomorrow’s clash with Barrow, meaning the best way to follow the action is by picking up a Match Pass for iFollow Blues for £10.
Overseas supporters can pick up a pass for just £7 with the pass allowing you to catch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device.
For more information on how you can get your Match Pass for iFollow Blues and ensure you miss none of the action at the Progression Solicitors Stadium, click here.
We will continue to update the website as normal, with the team line-up announcement revealed here on www.southendunited.co.uk at 2pm on Saturday, the match report to follow at full-time as usual along with reaction to the 90 minutes against the Bluebirds from Phil Brown.