Brown’s boys are all set for round two

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Chris Phillips To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

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

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