The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Jamie Holt

FORMER Southend boss Paul Stur­rock says he gave suc­ces­sor Phil Brown a thor­ough run-down of his squad to help him win to­day – de­spite be­ing un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously sacked by the club two weeks ago.

Stur­rock, 56, guided Southend to the Wem­b­ley fi­nal by see­ing off League One high-fliers Brent­ford and Ley­ton Ori­ent.

But in spite of the cup success and Southend sit­ting just be­low the play-off places, the ex-Ply­mouth man­ager was given the boot by chair­man Ron Martin two weeks ago. A state­ment blamed his side’s in­abil­ity to beat teams lower down League Two for his dis­missal.

Stur­rock ad­mits the tim­ing of the an­nounce­ment was a shock, not just be­cause his side were head­ing for a cup fi­nal but be­cause he be­lieves he could have steered the club back to Wem­b­ley in May for the play-off fi­nal.

For now, af­ter turn­ing down the chance to man­age the club against Crewe at the re­quest of Martin, he’ll watch the game among the Shrimpers fans.

“I had three fan­tas­tic years there, we built a fan­tas­tic squad and I’ll be wish­ing them all the best for the fi­nal,” said Stur­rock.

“I’m trav­el­ling down on a sup­port­ers’ bus and I’ll be sit­ting in amongst the fans at Wem­b­ley.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever sat with the crowd at a game, but I’m hop­ing it will be a good way to fin­ish my time at the club.

“The tim­ing of the sack­ing was a shock, but the chair­man ob­vi­ously fan­cied the fresh­ness of a new man­ager.

“We spoke on the Sun­day and then again last Thurs­day with Phil as well to thrash out the fi­nal sit­u­a­tion.

“I had a dis­cus­sion with him, the chair­man had made the de­ci­sion that I would take the team, and I do feel for the fans and the play­ers given what’s gone on.

“I felt it was ap­pro­pri­ate to make

HELP­FUL: Ex-boss Paul Stur­rock

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