Southend boss on what he expects from Blackpool at Roots Hall this weekend

Southend United boss Kevin Bond says his players have got to be prepared for Blackpool's "physical presence" when the two sides meet at Roots Hall tomorrow.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 2:24 pm
Southend boss Kevin Bond
Southend boss Kevin Bond

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Simon Grayson's men make the long trip to Roots Hall on Saturday looking to make it two wins from two in League One.

Bond, well known for having been Harry Redknapp's number two for much of his career, says his players can't afford to give away needless free-kicks due to Pool's threat from set pieces.

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"We are what we are from a physical point of view, but we are very aware that they have got that physical presence and they will be a threat in those areas," he said.

"Everyone will need to make sure we don’t give silly free kicks away, they will be putting it in a box from corner kicks from the first opportunities they get.

"We are aware of that so we will try and stop as many balls as we possibly can, but when they do we have to deal with them."

Southend kicked off the new season with a 1-0 defeat at Coventry last week, the game taking place at Birmingham City's St Andrew's stadium.

But Bond says his players have responded well to that opening day disappointment, saying: "It’s been a good week.

"We were disappointed [last weekend] because it was the first game of the season and we didn’t start the game like we wanted and there were reasons for it, but we couldn’t get after them like we wanted to until we had made a change.

"Then we did but had gone a goal behind. We did enough to get back in it, had a couple of really good opportunities but it wasn’t to be.

"I think we learnt a lesson, or I would like to think we learnt a lesson from that, and the key is not to make the same mistake again.

"We may all make mistakes but hopefully we don’t make the same mistake again."

The hosts will monitor the progress of striker Simon Cox, who made an appearance off the bench against Coventry City last weekend.

The 32-year-old, who scored 17 goals for the Shrimpers last season, had previously missed a large part of pre-season due to a calf problem.

Defender Rob Kiernan misses out with ligament damage, but Jason Demetriou has returned to training.