Ahead of their game with Vale, Southend fan Shrimpergarry from Shrimperzone.com is delighted with his team’s showing so far this season.
This interview was conducted by REP.
About the fan…
“I grew up in Southend and I’ve been a season ticket holder for 35 years. I now live about 25 miles away, watch every home game and as many away games as other commitments allow…”
How are your team doing?
We’ve been pretty inconsistent this season, picking up some fantastic results and then following them with some dire performances…
Being seventh in League One with only 14 games to go, I think, exceeded everyone’s expectations for the season after coming up via the play-offs. We’ve been pretty inconsistent this season, picking up some fantastic results (beating Burton 3-1, Coventry 3-0, Bury 4-1) and then following them with some dire performances (losing consecutive home games 4-0 and 3-0 just after Christmas). Who knows what team will turn up when we play you!
Where you think you will finish?
Probably just outside the play-offs (8th or 9th is my guess), but we’d have settled for that at the start of the season.
Who should we watch out for?
Tyrone Barnett (on loan from Shrewsbury with a view to a permanent move in the summer) is a great striker at this level, Dan Bentley is a very highly rated young keeper who will probably move on to a higher level in the summer. Jack Payne (diminutive midfielder) often catches the eye too.
What are your thoughts on your manager?
I quite like Phil Brown, although he is certainly a “Marmite” kind of guy – he loves the media spotlight but also seems knowledgable and passionate about the game, and we’re probably punching above our weight to have him.
What are your thoughts on your board?
We’re owned by a property developer who has been promising us a new ground for years now. I don’t trust the guy!
Any views on the current Port Vale?
Anthony Grant will always be fondly remembered by Southend fans he was one of the few to stick with us when we had financial problems…
Of your current squad, Anthony Grant will always be fondly remembered by Southend fans, he was one of the few to stick with us when we had financial problems a few years back and was a good servant to the club, playing over 150 games for us. Of the rest, Theo Robinson had a spell with us too and was a pretty handy striker on his day. When I’ve seen him Jak Alnwick looks like a decent ‘keeper at this level too. I always think of Vale as a similar sized team to us, just with a much bigger pitch! 😉
Did you attend the reverse fixture earlier this season?
I was there, but I can’t say it was a very memorable game! Having just watched the highlights to refresh my memory, it struck me what a different side we’ve got now – only four of the team that started against you in October started our last game (Bentley, Coker, Bolger, Timlin). The goal was a tap-in by Joe Pigott (a Charlton loanee who we chose not to sign permanently in January) and I remember that big unit you had up front, Ikpeazu, who I understand has now left you. Other than that, not a very memorable game!
Any memories of players involved with both teams?
Anthony Grant and Theo Robinson have already been mentioned, Luke Prosser is another who we’ve just shipped out to Northampton on loan and I remember him having a complete nightmare against you at Roots Hall a couple of seasons ago. Your former player and manager, Brian Horton, is now our football co-ordinator (whatever that means!). Of our more recent former players, Gavin Tomlin never really seemed to do much for you after leaving us.
A score prediction?
I’m going to go for a cheeky 2-1 win for us, with our goals scored by Jack Payne and Tyrone Barnett and yours by AJ Leitch-Smith.