“It’s very much a work in progress after such a torrid time” - FC Halifax Town v Southend United: Opposition Focus

We spoke to Chris Phillips from the Southend Echo for the lowdown on FC Halifax Town’s opponents on Saturday.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:23 pm
Phil Brown, manager of Southend United. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)

In what shape do they come into Saturday’s game in terms of mood and morale?

Southend have taken five points from their opening four games but the last two matches have seen contrasting performances.

The 0-0 draw at Wealdstone was really poor, especially in the second half and Phil Brown made that clear in his after match interview and also to the players.

They responded with a 2-2 draw against Wrexham and played well for the majority of the match. You would probably have taken a point before the game in all honesty but after being 2-0 up it was a little bit disappointing not to win it.

Who will be your dangermen on Saturday and why?

Sam Dalby has started the season well and he’s scored two goals in four games so far. Southend struggled for goals last season and if he scores on Saturday he will already equal what Blues’ top scorer managed to get in the whole of the previous campaign!

Rhys Murphy also got his first goal of the season on Saturday and he also finds areas to hurt teams it seems.

What’s Southend’s style of play, what can Halifax expect to come up against?

Southend have started with wing-backs in every game this season and I’d imagine it will be the same on Saturday. It’s very much work in progress after such a torrid time in recent seasons and it will take time for things to turn around. The early signs are promising and things do seem to be improving but this remains the lowest point in the club’s long history.

Who have your summer signings been and which ones could make the biggest impact?

There have been 10 summer signings so there’s been quite a big turnaround but that was definitely needed after the back to back relegations. There have been some promising signs from quite a few of the new additions so far and goalkeeper Steve Arnold has been particular impressive in the first four games.

What are the expectations for the team this season?

I think a top half finish and perhaps a push for the play-offs.

Injuries/suspensions?

Left-back Tom Clifford is out for a couple of months with an ankle problem and midfielder Abu Ogogo has missed the last couple of matches with a hamstring injury. Defender Nathan Ralph went off with an eye problem at the weekend so he will face a fitness check before Saturday too.

Likely line-up and formation?

(5-3-2) Arnold, Demetriou, White, Coulson, Ralph, Bridge, Ferguson, Dunne, Phillips, Dalby, Murphy.

Follow all the action from the game on Saturday on our live blog at www.halifaxcourier.co.uk where there will also be an on-the-whistle match report and post-match reaction ffrom Town boss Pete Wild.