Our guide to our next League Two opponents includes the imaginative use of a basebat bat by Southend boss Paul Sturrock.
Man in charge
Vastly experienced Paul Sturrock took over in 2010. Sturrock has managed over 800 games for St Johnsone, Plymouth, Southampton and Swindon. He’s been in charge of 130 Southend games; winning 56, losing 42 and drawing 32.
Last time we met
Southend beat a depleted Vale side 3-0 back in January. Clayton McDonald was sent off for the Valiants. The game was also notable as it marked Kingsley James’ (right) first- team debut with the midfielder playing the last half an hour.
Vale hold a slight advantage with 24 wins to Southend’s 21. There have been 29 draws. Vale last won at Roots Hall in 2010 with a 3-1 victory thanks to goals from Justin Richards, Marc Richards and Louis Dodds.
Former Valiant Luke Prosser (right) has been in and out of the Southend side this season. The former Tottenham youth team player joined Vale’s junior ranks and made his debut in 2008. He was in and around the Vale first-team squad in the 2008-2009 season making 28 appearances but was released by Micky Adams in 2010. He was subsequently signed by Southend United and he has now made 59 appearances in all competitions for United.
Other players to appear for both clubs include Brett Angell, Peter Clarke, Billy Paynter, Leon Constantine, Michael Husbands, Martin Aldridge (RIP), Joe Allon, Dave Barnett, Peter Beadle, Neville Southall, Kevin Steggles, Danny Maye and Billy Kellock.
Vale have been hit hard by injuries and suspensions and (unless the Football League allow an emergency signing) will have just fifteen available players. John McCombe and Sam Morsy are both suspended while Richard Duffy, Darren Murphy and Doug Loft are injured. Chris Shuker (right) is likely to come into midfield to replace Morsy.
Neil Harris is Southend’s only injury and former Valiant Luke Prosser returns from suspension to boost their options.
“Can we use a baseball bat?”
– Paul Sturrock on how to control Vale’s Tom Pope
“I am delighted for Micky Adams at the moment as he has had a torrid time in charge with what has happened at that football club. He’s a top man and I hope he stays a top man but only after Saturday.”
– Paul Sturrock
Roots Hall was actually built on a council landfill site in 1955.