The Football League Paper - - NEIL MELLOR -

I’M pleased to see the sea­son has started well at Southend for my old Preston gaffer Phil Brown. Things didn’t work out for him at Deep­dale for what­ever rea­son – in­juries cer­tainly didn’t help.

He’s done well through­out his man­age­rial ca­reer. Get­ting Hull City into the Premier League was a huge achieve­ment. But he’s happy to man­age at any level which shows his love of the game.

Southend went close to pro­mo­tion to League One last year only to lose out in the play-offs and Browny will be hop­ing to go one step fur­ther this sea­son.

I know how good a man­ager he is. To­wards the lat­ter stages of my ca­reer I was re­ally en­joy­ing the psy­cho­log­i­cal side of foot­ball. He was one man­ager who was more aware of its im­por­tance than any­one else I’d dealt with be­fore. I think that’s needed in to­day’s game.

He’d al­ways set us tar­gets for each in­di­vid­ual month, to look at the short term goals in or­der to get the main goal at the end which was pro­mo­tion. I liked his at­ten­tion to de­tail in cre­at­ing a team en­vi­ron­ment.

No doubt lots of lads go out for a few beers or go-kart­ing, but he took us away for two days to train with the Marines.

It was the hard­est, but best, team bond­ing I’d been in­volved with in pre-sea­son. It gave you huge re­spect for the Marines. You can’t be an in­di­vid­ual and get through it. We came away as a team.

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