The Insider: Southend look a different side since Powell’s appointment

Southend boss Chris Powell Picture: PA Images
Southend boss Chris Powell Picture: PA Images
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Things were getting a little bit desperate towards Phil Brown’s final few games in charge.

Southend were in big, big trouble, losing eight of their past nine and dropped to just a point above the relegation zone.

The club gave him as long as possible. I’ve been doing this job for 15 years and Chris Powell is only the fourth manager I’ve had to deal with.

Southend managers are given time. Brown could have went last season when they fell into the relegation zone, but he managed to turn it around and they missed out on the play-offs by a point.

He was at the club nearly five years and was one of League One’s longest-serving managers, so he couldn’t complain about not being given time.

Chris Powell has come in and things are really starting to look brighter and there seems to be a lot more spirit and togetherness.

He’s been in charge of four games and got 10 points out of a possible 12, so things are looking far more positive.

When Brown was sacked, there were a few names in the frame.

Danny and Nicky Cowley, the Lincoln manager and assistant manager, have a lot of local links.

They used to manage a non-league club in the area and taught at a school.

It was between Powell and the Cowley brothers, but the former got the job.

He’s one of Southend’s best-ever players and helped the club get promoted into the second tier in the 1992-93 season.

Powell is definitely up there with Stan Collymore as the club’s greatest player.

You can’t meet a nicer man and he was a very popular appointment.

That is a bit of a worry if things don’t work out, but we had that when Steve Tilson came back and that worked out alright in the end.

It looks like the new manager will steer Southend away from danger.

It’s funny how things work out. People were worried about going down, but now there’s fans saying the Shrimpers are only nine points off the play-offs after Tuesday’s draw at Bury.

That’s getting a bit carried away but it shows how much they’ve progressed.

The concern is a few key players have picked up injuries. John White and Michael Kightly are key players but are both out. The former is a huge blow, who’s got three goals in his past four games.

Simon Cox missed the game at Bury for personal reasons. He’ll be back in and won’t have scored as many as he’d have liked but is a really intelligent player.