TIMLIN TARGETS THE SMALL FRY
MICHAEL Timlin wants play-off hopefuls Southend to start improving their poor record against struggling sides when they host Accrington tomorrow.
The sixth-placed Shrimpers continued their excellent form against the top teams by thumping high-flying Rochdale.
And Timlin, who was among the goalscorers for Southend at Spotland, now wants more of the same against Accrington.
“If we had done better against the teams towards the bottom then we would be in the top three if not top so it’s something we’re aware of and want to improve,” said the midfielder.
“It’s not a case of being more up for games against the top teams or anything like that and we actually thought we had sorted it out before we were beaten by AFC Wimbledon in our last home game. It’s been disappointing but that’s what happened and we need to make sure we do better when we play Accrington.
“If we don’t then all the hard work we put in at Rochdale will just have been a waste.”
Southend took just 11 minutes to open the scoring against Rochdale as on loan Norwich City winger Jacob Murphy charged through before unselfishly squaring the ball to Barry Corr who had the simplest of finishes to tap home from close range.
The hosts came close to equalising when Ian Henderson slammed a long-range shot against the crossbar before the Shrimpers doubled their lead just before the break with Murphy volleying home a cross from Ryan Leonard.
Immediately after the interval, Southend made it 3-0 when Timlin also volleyed home from close range after good work down the left hand side from Kevan Hurst.
And the Shrimpers almost extended their lead late on with Leonard slamming a 30-yard shot against the crossbar.
The defeat extended third placed Rochdale’s winless streak to four games and they are now just three points ahead of their nearest challengers, Fleetwood.
But manager Keith Hill is urging his players to remain calm.
“This is no time to throw in the towel or spit the dummy out,” said Hill. “It was a difficult, tense game and the tension showed in the performance.
“There looked as if there was a little bit of a crisis of confidence for the players and it didn’t get any better for us from the first mistakes onwards. It’s disappointing but you have to collect your positive energy and make sure you move on to the next available opportunity.
“We have three more opportunities, but we can’t afford to perform with those types of nerves and make those kind of mistakes and expect to get where we want to get to.
“It’s OK wanting to achieve but you have to have the bravery and commitment and if you have that it turns you into a better
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MOBBED: Southend’s Barry Corr, hidden, with teammates after scoring their first goal
CHALKED OFF: Dale’s Jack O’Connell, second right, has a goal ruled out