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Tranmere Rovers v Southend United – Prenton Park – Sky Bet League One – Friday 7:45pm
Tranmere Rovers v Southend United – Preview:
Ten Sky Bet League One defeats from twelve matches, ongoing managerial issues – or perhaps that should be the lack of a manager – along with continued concerns over the possibility of relegation, financial hardship and whether a new stadium will ever take shape has left Southend United’s faithful following feeling somewhat ‘blue’ of late.
Frustrations heightened further by a 4-1 Sky bet League One walloping from fellow strugglers AFC Wimbledon, coupled with a breakdown in talks with Henrik Larsson, Johan Mjallby and Tommy Johnson over the Head Coach’s post, leaving the fans believing they are trapped in a tunnel with little sign of light.
Nevertheless, caretaker-boss, Gary Waddock, has taken the situation in his stride since being handed the reins following Kevin Bond’s resignation almost eight weeks ago. The former Queen’s Park Rangers midfielder providing honest answers, even if it’s not exactly what the fans want to hear in what are troubled times for the south-east Essex outfit.
When asked if he had ever worked in a tougher environment during his coaching career, Waddock explained: “Every club has their problems – every single club.
“You have to face up to them, head on – it’s a challenge to resolve them problems.
“That question is a big question at the moment because there are a lot of things ongoing – a lot of things need to be resolved.
“The Chairman will do that in his own time. We all hope that the results from that will take this football club forward.”
When asked if he thought the situation had affected the players, Waddock responded: “Batting it back to you, that is a question only the players can answer.
“Me and the staff have just got on with what we have to do. We have been professional in our work that we have done. The players can only answer that question for you.”
When quizzed on his own efforts, the 57-year-old added: “It would be a lot tougher if I was inexperienced. But I’ve got some experience – you get on with the job that is in hand and continue to do the best that you can possibly do.
“My only regret and disappointment is the results because there has been a lot of hard work done behind the scenes.
Unfortunately, we have not been unable to show the performances and results that we’d all like.”
Southend has claimed only four points from 36 on offer to date – all under Waddock’s guidance. Ahead of this Friday’s match with improving Tranmere Rover at Prenton Park, he called upon his players for a reaction: “The players need to react, of course, they do.
“It’s unacceptable, really – the current situation we are in. Players need to respond to that. Once they go over that white laine, all the preparation has been done – and it has been for a period of time now. Players will have to take responsibility and put in a performance, that’s for sure.”
Tranmere Rovers v Southend United – Head to head:
Tranmere Rovers won: 21
Southend United won: 15
Tranmere Rovers v Southend United – Last five meetings (all competitions):
February 14, 2009 – League One
Southend United 2-1 Tranmere Rovers
November 24, 2009 – League One
Tranmere Rovers 2-0 Southend United
February 13, 2010 – League One
Southend United 1-1 Tranmere Rovers
November 22, 2014 – League Two
Tranmere Rovers 1-2 Southend United
April 11, 2015 – League Two
Southend United 1-0 Tranmere Rovers
Jeevesie’s prediction: Tranmere Rovers 2-0 Southend United