SOUTHEND boss Phil Brown expects his players to be motivated by the “pain and hurt” they felt last season after two defeats to Millwall at Roots Hall.
Neil Harris’ side avenged a 2-0 defeat at The Den last September (above) by winning by the same scoreline in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in December before a 4-0 win in the league 20 days later.
Southend have endured a miserable start to the season, winning just once, and five points from seven games has left them in 22nd place in the League One table.
But Brown expects a reaction this weekend, and believes the presence of ex-Southend players Harris and David Worrall will add to the occasion.
“I remember that changing room and seeing that pain and hurt following our defeat to Millwall last season,” Brown told the Echo ahead of the game.
“The players still here will remember that, too, but there’s added spice to the game with Neil coming back, and David Worrall too.
“The first goal is important and if we can get our noses in front then that belief and confidence will come in our group and we can go on to win the game.”
Brown, who took charge of Southend in 2013 and led them to promotion to League Two in 2015, accepts he is under pressure and urged his players to change that on Saturday afternoon.
He said: “It’s part and parcel of the game and there’s certainly no shying away from that.
“It’s something I’ve got to deal with and hopefully the players can help me deal with it by putting in a good performance tomorrow to help us get a win against Millwall.
“Everyone feels under pressure when you’re at the wrong end of the division but I know I still have the support of the players.
“If we bring our best game to the table then this is a game we can win and hopefully that can turn our season around.”
Image source: ©Millwall FC