Bond offering a positive spin ahead of Blues ‘must-win’ clash with Rochdale

Southend United v Rochdale – Sky Bet League One – Roots Hall Stadium (Saturday 3pm)

Southend United v Rochdale – Preview:

UNDER PRESSURE Southend United manager, Kevin Bond offered a calm response when looking ahead to Saturday’s huge Sky Bet League One clash with Rochdale at Roots Hall Stadium.

Southend remain without a point after five league outings, and to make matters worse, they crashed out of the Carabao Cup to Milton Keynes Dons during the week, a result which saw them miss out on a money-spinning tie with European Champions, Liverpool, at Roots Hall.

Nevertheless, Bond spoke like a man willing to soldier on and hopeful that his underperforming outfit could turn their season around.

“We’re approaching it like we approach all games, but we hope for a different outcome,” Bond explained to www.southendunited.co.uk.

“They are a good footballing side and a team that I did meet last season. They have always had a reputation for playing football when Keith Hill was there and now the new manager has come in and done a great job, got them playing and they have started the season well so they will be a dangerous side for us.”

Bond urged for unity amongst his side, adding: “We need to show resolve, we need to come into work and have a smile on our face and be very positive, which we are very positive.

“Even accepting the situation that we’re in and the run we’re in, feeling sorry for ourselves and being down about it isn’t going to help, that will only make matters worse. We just need to come in and put it behind us.

“We’ve had these runs before and hopefully, we won’t have them again and we just need to get through it, when we finally do get through it then we can kick on.”

The Blues boss spoke about how he has dealt with similarly troubled situations in the past: “Hard work, determination and waiting for the break that comes your way and I do think that there have been certain games where things have gone against us and it would have made all the difference certainly in my time here.

“We must show a lot of character because at the end of the day it is only us and we can’t rely on anybody else lying down or turning over we will need to do it ourselves.”

Southend remains without injured quartet, Tom Hopper, Sam Barratt, Stephen McLaughlin and Timothee Dieng. Meanwhile, John White and Nathan Ralph remain doubtful for the match.

Meanwhile, Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy was keen to focus on his own side and not think too much about Southend’s sluggish start: “Traditionally, it has been an extraordinarily tough ground for us, but I don’t like to focus too much on what’s gone on in the past.

“Southend’s start has been slightly misleading in the fact that they’ve had a lot of good spells in games and a lot of productive attacking play. They obviously haven’t won yet, but it couldn’t be a more dangerous time for us to play them.

“We’re very conscious of our own game plan and trying to apply our traits and what we’ve been doing and trying to get even better at them. We’re also very conscious of trying to implement our own game plan on them and giving them problems, and not focusing too much the situation Southend are in.”

Southend United v Rochdale – Head to head:

Southend United won: 24
Drawn: 14
Rochdale won: 16

Southend United v Rochdale – Last five meetings (all competitions):

January 14, 2017 – Sky Bet League One
Southend United 2-1 Rochdale

September 2, 2017 – Sky Bet League One
Southend United 0-0 Rochdale

March 13, 2018 – Sky Bet League One
Rochdale 0-0 Southend United

December 22, 2018 – Sky Bet League One
Southend United 1-2 Rochdale

April 27, 2019 – Sky Bet League One
Rochdale 1-0 Southend United

Jeevesie’s prediction: Southend United 1-2 Rochdale

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk