Brown’s boys are all set for round two
SOUTHEND could not be better prepared for the play-offs according to boss Phil Brown who watched his side see off Burton in their dress rehearsal.
Barry Corr’s first-half header secured the Shrimpers all three points against the Brewers.
And Brown is now relishing facing Burton again in the two legged play-off semi-final.
“This was a cagey game and I think it was always going to be like that,” he said.
“But I’m pleased with the mentality of the group and believe that will put us in good stead for the play-offs.
“We have won something like seven games 1-0 now this season and that shows we are able to deal with the pressure when teams start to throw everything at us.
“We have had 20 clean sheets so we are looking solid at the back and we are also top of the form guide now for League Two so we are feeling very confident about it.
“Burton are a strong side and, with the changes they made, we probably didn’t learn that much about them here.
“But in Barry Corr we have a striker in a rich vein of form and we’re in really good shape.
“I have had plenty of experience in the playoffs before which will be a huge help and now it is all about making sure we hold our nerve.”
Corr’s fifth goal in six games separated the two teams at Roots Hall.
In a game of few chances, the Irishman bagged his 13th goal of the season when he headed home Kevan Hurst’s excellent left-wing cross from eight yards.
Burton hit back with Lee Bell having a closerange shot blocked by Daniel Bentley but Southend were back on top at the start of the second half.
Ryan Leonard had a long-range shot smothered by Burton goalkeeper Dean Lyness at the second attempt before Southend skipper John White also had a low effort saved.
Burton then almost bagged a late equaliser when Chris Hussey’s longrange free-kick was tipped over.
But Burton boss Gary Rowett remained upbeat. “The best thing for me is that was their strongest side and we know we will be a lot stronger in the play-offs with the number of players we have coming back ,” he said.
“I used this to see how Southend would play and we’ve learnt a lot from this game.
“If I’m honest playing away from home in the second leg is what I wanted regardless of what team we were playing. I’m not arrogant enough to pick a team but I believe our style of football will suit us that way.”
STAR MAN MICHA
EL TIMLIN Southe