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BROWN’S PRE-NEWPORT THOUGHTS

6 May 2021

Southend United manager Phil Brown said he will be making sure that his team turn up on Saturday against Newport County with pride in the shirt.

Blues know they will be playing in the National League next season after relegation was confirmed last Saturday, while the Exiles require a point from the last game of the regular season to be sure of a play-off place.

And Brown said he won’t be afraid to change things very early if any players aren't up to the required level, and added he won’t be giving Newport boss Michael Flynn any favours.

"We need to be battling for a lot of things and the first thing is pride in your performance and in your career,” said Brown.

"I wish the supporters were there and I really mean that because if you do down tools, I wouldn’t mind, if I was in the stand, a pitch invasion myself.

"It’s a disgrace if you down tools, it’s a disgrace if you don’t wear the shirt with pride and it’s a disgrace if you don’t turn up, regardless of what there is to play for. It’s never been on the agenda where I’m concerned and never will be.

"If I detect it early, either in the warm-up or the first five minutes of the game there will be replacements.

"We’re blessed with five subs. I’ll go down to 10 men who are prepared to fight rather than play 11, and that 11th man is not giving his all.

"The team will be selected on that premise and it will be fighting for the one thing that we are fighting for and that’s the pride in the shirt that we wear.

"Michael Flynn is in town and he’s a good friend of mine, on the same diploma course as me at the moment. We’ve shared many of laughs over the course of the last year, but there will be no favours. He will know that.

"I’m not expecting anything from him but a very strong turn out of his team with some of the football he’s been playing this season. Relatively speaking that’s been much better than we’ve done. He’s towards the top of the league for one reason and that’s they turn up week in, week out.

"I know for a fact they will turn up on Saturday to try and win the game of football."

The Blues boss confirmed that Tom Clifford trained fully on Wednesday and said his team will be selected on players’ attitude.

"I’ll be trying to pick the strongest team available to me that has showed up in the last three weeks.

"I don’t mean just in games, I’m talking about in training sessions, in their conduct, in the way they’ve gone about their business. All those things will be higher up on the agenda instead of someone who possibly showed up at the start of the season and is not showing up now. If that makes sense.

"If it doesn’t make sense, I’m just going to try and win the game. I can’t simplify it any easier than that.

"I won’t be trialling anybody that’s for sure. Quite often how they conduct themselves around the place, how they answer questions, how they listen to what you’re saying for their own good all goes into the big pot of team selection.

"Ability has got a lot to do with it, but I’ve been more than interested in everyone’s attitude.

"People say you hire on ability and you fire on attitude, but I sometimes say it’s the other way around because if the attitude doesn’t show up you might as well go home; you won’t see the best ability in them.

"All of that in mind, that’s what I’ll be making sure my team is selected upon."

 


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