Shrimpers plan to take advantage
SOUTHEND plan to take advantage of Ipswich's frail confidence at Roots Hall tomorrow.Town make their first trip there in almost ten years on the back of a miserable run comprising three straight defeats.
By Mel Henderson
SOUTHEND plan to take advantage of Ipswich's frail confidence at Roots Hall tomorrow.
Town make their first trip there in almost ten years on the back of a miserable run comprising three straight defeats.
Shrimpers' star Adam Barrett sees it as an ideal opportunity for them to work their way out of the Championship's bottom three and climb to within one point of their opponents.
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Roots Hall regulars have not celebrated a home win since mid-August, when Sunderland were sent packing, and Steve Tilson's side are without a win in eight league outings.
Barrett, 26, said: “We want to get back to winning ways and get out of the bottom three.
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“Mentally, that would be a big boost for us because it isn't nice looking at the league table right now.
“We want to move up as quickly as we can and we're still confident of finishing in a decent position this season.”
Despite their long wait for a league victory, Barrett & Co are buoyed by bringing back a point from Burnley in midweek thanks to their first away clean sheet this season.
He added: “There is a lot of hard work ahead of us, though, and no one is getting carried away. But the belief is still there and we want to build on Tuesday's draw by beating Ipswich tomorrow.
“We really need a win. Ipswich have been a bit inconsistent and will obviously not be feeling the best, having lost three in a row. But they're still a good side and they have been playing at this level for a while, so they know what it's all about.”
No matter Town's recent run, Southend boss Steve Tilson knows better than to expect an easy game.
He said: “They pass it around for fun. They play some good stuff because it's tradition for them and obviously we like to pass it too, so it should make for a good game.
“Ipswich have been a bit up and down this season but so have around 80 per cent of the sides and that's why the league is so tight.
“Colchester have shown what's possible if you can string a couple of wins together and hopefully we can go on and do the same.”
Ipswich boss Jim Magilton is expected to make changes after the midweek home defeat by Preston and goalkeeper Lewis Price looks particularly vulnerable after a shaky couple of games in which he was beaten eight times.
The Shrimpers, who ended a run of three straight defeats by drawing 0-0 at Turf Moor, could be without defenders Efe Sodje and Spencer Prior, who are nursing knocks, while injured midfielder Jamal Campbell-Ryce is a definite non-starter.
Southend: Flahaven, Francis, Prior, Sodje, Barrrrett, Hammell, Hunt, Maher, Guttridge, Gower, Eastwood, Harrold, Clarke, Paynter, Hooper and Collis.
Ipswich: Price, Wilnis, De Vos, Bruce, Naylor, Harding, Peters, Noble, Legwinski, Richards, Lee, Macken, Sito, Currie, Walton, Roberts, Clarke, Barron and Supple.
Referee: Clive Penton (Sussex).
What do you think? Are Ipswich capable of turning their season around? Write to Sports Desk, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or alternatively e-mail: star firstname.lastname@example.org