‘Meeting the opposition’ – Southend United
I spoke to Southend United fan @Jack_Sargeant1 ahead of Tranmere’s midweek trip to Roots Hall.
How long have you been a Southend fan and how did you first come across the club?
I’ve been a Southend fan for as long as I can remember. My first game I remember really well, we played Hartlepool and we scored in the first two minutes so that definitely gave me the bug. My Dad is an Essex boy and so growing up I really had no choice!
What moments stand out during your time supporting the Shrimpers? (Highs and lows)
We never never do things the easy way, it seems like we are always either fighting for promotion or battling against the drop. The standout day has to be the play-off final against Wycombe in 2015. Scoring in the last minute or extra time and then winning 7-6 in penalties doesn’t happen too often. Staying up against Sunderland on the final day a couple of seasons ago is another day I won’t ever forget. In terms of lows, there’s been plenty. Relegation last season and battling against the drop this year, hasn’t been easy to take.
Random fact about Southend? (The club, the area etc)
The best fact I can give you is that we are the only team in England to have a 100% record against Manchester United.
What were your expectations going into the season and what are they now the campaign’s drawing to a close?
Before the season started I thought we might be able to finish mid-table with the aim of using this season to rebuild after a turbulent few years. That unfortunately hasn’t happened and once again we are battling to stay up. I expect to stay up and dare I say it, I think we will.
Who is Southend United’s manager, how long has he been at the club and what are your thoughts on him?
Our manager is Mark Molesley who previously managed non league Weymouth and led them to back to back promotions whilst also coaching the u23’s at Bournemouth. I’m a huge fan of Molesley and of course I pray he succeeds but more importantly is that he’s given the time to do that.
Who owns Southend United, what are your thoughts on them?
Southend are owned by the businessman Ron Martin and have been for quite some time. Views on Ron are very much divided amongst the fan base. One thing that is for sure is that he’s quite the character. Our money issues and winding up orders are no secret to anybody and that has to fall on the chairman. Personally I think we need Ron Martin, more than he needs us. Without him, we wouldn’t survive as a club. It’s as simple as that.
Who are the Shrimper’s danger men?
Our best player by quite some way in my opinion is Sim Akinola closely followed by Tim Dieng. If we are to survive this season, these two will play a big part.
How do you see the game panning out?
My thoughts on tonight’s game with Tranmere is one of worry. We need a result but I don’t expect us to get anything from the game. Tranmere just have that bit of extra quality that we unfortunately don’t have. My score prediction .. Rovers to win 2-0.
What do you think the hosts’ starting eleven will be?
Goalkeeper: James Montgomery. Defence: Elvis Bwomono, John White, Shaun Hobson, Tom Clifford. Midfielders: Timothee Dieng, Nathan Ferguson, Kyle Taylor. Attack: Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, Emile Acquah, Ricky Holmes.
What are your thoughts on Tranmere?
I can’t say I know a lot about Tranmere but one thing for sure is I expect an extremely tough game tonight. They are 5th for a reason and we need to be ready.
What are your thoughts on the transfer business made in January? That will most likely be vital for the club’s survival bid.
I think our transfer business in January and the previous summer has been really good. Due to our lack of finances available, we obviously have to take full advantage of older free agents or younger loan players. I think we have a great balance of experience and youth in our squad. We’ve brought in Ricky Holmes and Nile Ranger in recent weeks, unfortunately Ranger came on and got injured after just 10 minutes and is now out for the season which one again leaves us light up front.
Nile Ranger was someone that was recruited, announced on 18th February. He’s a controversial figure so what are your thoughts on this bit of recruitment?
Nile Ranger deserves another chance and I’m glad we have given him that. Everybody makes mistakes and he’s certainly made a few but the past is the past and it’s time for everybody to move on. It’s a shame he’s been ruled out for the rest of the campaign but I’m sure he’ll be fit and firing ready for another pre-season hopefully in League Two.
‘This is definitely a low moment as we search for survival in this league. Dare I say it? I think we’ll avoid the drop. Regardless, I want manager Mark Molesley to be given time as I like him’.
Thank you very much for reading,