Scouting report: Southend United

A closer look at the Shrimpers ahead of their maiden visit to Macron Stadium

Ahead of Wanderers' meeting with Southend United, takes a closer look at Phil Brown’s side…

This term has been something of a test so far for United, with them currently sitting 19th in the table having collected four points from their five league outings so far.

Their one win this season however did come on their travels at Sheffield United, with the Shrimpers faithful no doubt hoping that they can replicate their efforts at Bramall Lane at Macron Stadium – a venue where they have never previously played – this weekend.

Overall meanwhile, it has been 20 years since these two sides last pitted their wits against each other.

While the Whites have since enjoyed a lengthy stint in the Premier League and played European football on two separate occasions, Southend have been on something of a rollercoaster, riding as high at the Championship back in 2006/07 and as low as League Two.

The past few years meanwhile have been more fruitful for the Shrimpers and under the stewardship of former Bolton player and coach Phil Brown, the good times have certainly returned to the Roots Hall outfit.

Since his arrival at the club three-and-a-half years ago, United have been involved in the play-offs twice, winning promotion to League One at the second attempt back in May 2015 where they have remained ever since.

  • L 2-0 – Port Vale A - Sky Bet League One, 13/8/16
  • W 3-0 – Sheffield United A - Sky Bet League One, 16/8/16 
  • D 1-1 – Bristol Rovers H - Sky Bet League One, 20/8/16
  • L 2-0 – Fleetwood Town H - Sky Bet League One, 27/8/16 
  • W 2-0 – Brighton Under-23s H - Checkatrade Trophy, 30/8/16 
A more-than-familiar face to all associated with Bolton Wanderers, Brown was confirmed as Southend United manager in March 2013. A full-back during his playing days who spent time with Hartlepool United, Halifax Town, Wanderers and Blackpool, he proceeded to begin his coaching career in temporary charge of the Whites before Sam Allardyce was appointed as permanent manager in 1999. 

Spending six years working with Big Sam, he then went on to become manager of Derby County in 2005 but after just 33 games in charge, he departed Pride Park. Returning to the game as an assistant, this time under current Bolton boss Phil Parkinson, at Hull City, he took the reins permanently at the Tigers in January 2007. 

In his first full season meanwhile, Brown guided Hull to promotion to the Premier League and kept the club up the following season in what was their first ever venture into the top flight in their 104-year history. 

A difficult start to their second campaign however meant that the KC Stadium outfit struggled to build on their previous exploits in the Premier League, resulting in Brown’s departure in early 2010. Later going on to manage Preston North End briefly in 2011, the 57-year-old enjoyed 15 months out of the game before taking over at Roots Hall over three years ago.

Southend announced the signing of experienced frontman Cox on a two-year deal back in July – an acquisition which certainly signalled the Shrimpers’ intent in League One this year.

With the Republic of Ireland international committing his future to the Blues until at least the summer of 2018, he has already scored twice in the league against Sheffield United and Bristol Rovers. 

Formerly of Reading’s youth set-up, the forward’s early years in the game saw him loaned to Brentford, Northampton Town and Swindon Town before he joined the latter permanently in 2008. Impressing in front of goal for the Robins, he was soon snapped up by West Bromwich Albion where he spent three years at the Hawthorns before joining Nottingham Forest in 2012. 

Later re-joining first club Reading two summers ago, the 29-year-old has to date scored 91 goals in over 250 club starts and has also featured 30 times for his country, scoring four goals for the Republic of Ireland.

Oxley, Demetriou, Thompson, Barrett, Coker, O'Neill, Leonard, McGlashan, McLaughlin, Bridge, Cox

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