Southend boss Sol Campbell praises Fratton faithful but outlines game plan to add to Portsmouth frustrations

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Sol Campbell praised the Fratton faithful but admitted it would be good to silence them as he brings his Southend side to PO4 tonight.

The former England defender made 115 appearances for Pompey during the club’s most recent top-flight years.

He led the club to victory in the 2008 FA Cup final against Cardiff and helped steer the Blues to their highest-ever finish in a Premier League season the same year, as Harry Redknapp’s side finished eighth.

The following season the defender skippered Pompey in their maiden venture into European football.

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Campbell, accompanied by fellow former Blues Hermann Hreidarsson and Andy Cole, is now set to make a return to Fratton Park as manager of Southend, following his appointment at Roots Hall last month.

Former Pompey defender Sol Campbell. Picture: Steve Robards

Former Pompey defender Sol Campbell. Picture: Steve Robards

He’s yet to taste victory with the Shrimpers, who currently sit second from bottom in the League One table.

However, speaking to the Southend Echo, he admitted it would be great to secure that maiden victory against a Pompey side also struggling in the lower half of the standings.

Campbell said: ‘Portsmouth is a fantastic club with great fans and I’m looking forward to going back.

‘I won the FA Cup with them and have some good memories there but it would be great to get the win there.

‘Any win would be great for us right now but we have to earn it.’

Campbell added his intentions were to make the Blues fight for victory, while at the same time ensuring his side ‘keep it simple’ against his former club.

‘We have to play a simple game,’ he told the Echo.

‘We have to back each other up and not give them leg ups for no reason.

‘We have to make them work for everything because that’s what it’s all about at Fratton Park.

‘It’s about clearing our lines and starting to play football again in the right areas.

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‘That’s what I’ll be saying to the players because if we keep it simple we’ll get through this.’

Pompey go into tonight’s game sitting 15th in the table – 13 point points above Southend in the table.