CYCLONE TYRONE SMASHES COVENTRY
PHIL BROWN hailed the performance of striker Tyrone Barnett after he bagged a brace in the Shrimpers’ 3-0 win against Coventry.
The on-loan Shrewsbury striker took his tally to three goals in three games with another impressive display, and Southend boss Brown, whose side played the final 39 minutes with ten men following Gary Deegan’s red card, was delighted Barnett’s efforts were enough to end a four-match winless streak.
“Tyrone was the epitome of hard work out there and he fully deserved his two goals,” said Brown. “He led the line tremendously well and took his goal fantastically as well.
“When we went down to ten men after an unfortunate red card for Gary I thought Tyrone might not be as involved because he was up there on his own. But he’s done superbly well in the build-up to us winning a penalty and he’s taken it brilliantly as well, so it’s a great day at the office for him and for all of us.
“We grew in confidence as the game went on and it’s a huge win for us.”
Coventry have now won just two of their last ten games. But they came close to going in front early on at Roots Hall when Jim O’Brien’s long-range effort was tipped onto the crossbar by Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley. However, Southend hit back strongly and went in front in the 24th minute when Jack Payne drilled a low, leftfooted shot into the bottom left corner.
Six minutes later, Barnett doubled the host’s lead with a fine left-footed finish after an excellent through-ball from Stephen Hendrie. But the Shrimpers’ hopes of a win were hampered in the 51st minute when Deegan was shown a second yellow card after chopping down James Maddison.
Following the midfielder’s dismissal against his former side, Coventry started to see more of the ball but struggled to find a way past an organised Southend defence.
And in a rare break forward, the Shrimpers sealed their first win over Coventry since 1964 when Barnett thundered home a penalty after Will Atkinson had been brought down by goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook.
The victory pushed Southend to within two points of the play-offs but did little to lift the spirits of Coventry boss Tony Mowbray.
“There are no excuses; we were beaten by a team who were much more resilient,” he said. “They dug in and did not give us a minute on the ball.
“Obviously losing Adam Armstrong and Jacob Murphy to injury was a big blow but we still came here with a very experienced team. It was just a very disappointing performance.
“I’m not sure we created many chances. We had about 100 shots but all from outside the box and all they all got blocked as well. They defended with a lot of men behind the ball and made life very difficult for us.
“We started with the right team. If you are going to play Marcus Tudgay, then you need men wide to put it in the box for him. But every time you lose a game then people will question your selection.”