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1 October 2021

Phil Brown is hoping the bye-week break will play into his team’s hands when Blues return to National League action on Saturday afternoon.

Despite admitting that he would have wanted a game to put things right quickly, Brown said it might have been what was needed at the right time.

As Southend head to Solihull Moors looking to put behind them a disastrous week which saw them lose three consecutive games, the Blues boss said he is under no illusions that the pressure will be ramped back up come kick-off.

"I always want games coming thick and fast,” said Brown.

"I always want to be prepared for a game at the weekend and I would’ve said I didn’t want that.

"But I’m glad it [the break] came as it took a bit of the spotlight off of us being in the lower reaches to a certain extent and it seems to have relaxed the players somewhat.

"When it comes to Saturday at three o’clock and the whistle goes the pressure is back on; we have to learn to deal with that as a group, as individuals and as a manager.

"In the first week we had a real tough week, as tough as pre-season, just to make life a little more uncomfortable to a certain extent, then a couple of days rest before looking at the preparation for Solihull Moors.

"But not just for Solihull Moors, it’s a massive week for us just to make sure that we get enough points on the board from the three games to hang on the shirt tails of everybody that started well.

"It’s a big game on Saturday and then two back-to-back home games."

The Moors come into Saturday's encounter off a poor result themselves, a 5-1 thumping at the hands of table-toppers Dagenham & Redbridge.

Brown said a point might not be the worst result, to get some momentum going in the right direction.

"I know [Solihull manager] Neal Ardley very well, we’ve been on holiday with each other," Brown added.

"He’s a lovely man, he plays football in the right way, he coaches football in the right way, wants his teams to play football in the right way; everything you want to like about management Neal does it to the best of his ability and he gets his teams trying to perform to put bums on seats.

"The game plan is to try and frustrate that and try to get on the back of that play, and hopefully get one or two opportunities to kick start our season.

"Off the back of three defeats we just need to turn a corner, to get something we can hang our hats onto.

"I know some Southend supporters will be out there saying hold on a second, we were thinking about champions and promotion; yes we’re still thinking about that but that bottom line is we haven’t really put ourselves in the competition.

"I don’t think we’re understanding the National League yet and it might take 20 games to understand it, but we’re working on the mentality of the group in terms of what we’re coming up against the opposition is going to be different week-to-week. Non-league mentality to a certain extent, which is not a bad mentality, it’s going to be physical, technical at times, set-pieces and all the horrible stuff."

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