Fleetwood assistant Kelly backs Brown to turn it around at Southend

Fleetwood Town were beaten by Southend United in September
Fleetwood Town were beaten by Southend United in September

It is safe to say Southend boss Phil Brown is under pressure after losing seven of his last eight games but Town assistant head coach Rob Kelly backed the Shrimpers manager to turn things around.

However, he hopes their form returns after Saturday’s clash at Roots Hall as Town bid to keep building their current momentum.

Town lost 4-2 to the Shrimpers at home in September with the now departed Burnley loanee Aiden O’Neill’s early red card giving Uwe Rosler’s side a mountain to climb.

It was a game thought that was marred in controversy after a Nile Ranger, boot off gun-toting goal celebration.

But Ranger, like the Shrimpers’ star man Ryan Leonard, has now left the club.

And Brown has a heavy injury list with Josh Wright (hamstring), Anton Ferdinand (knee) and White all doubts.

Despite their form, injury worries and losses Kelly is still expecting a tough game.

Town are 13th heading into the clash two points above 17th-placed Southend.

And Kelly is targeting a result as Town head into a jam-packed schedule.

Reflecting on the first meeting he said: “We had Aiden sent off early on.

“We conceded a penalty and it made it difficult.

“They are a strong side with a good management team who are very experienced, they know what this league is about.

“They invested heavily in the summer. They are having a dip in form at the moment but I don’t expect that to last due to the management team and the players they have got.

“I would expect them to climb the table soon - but hopefully after Saturday!

“It will be a tough game, it is not an easy place to go but we will do what we do, prepare properly and I look forward to going there and getting a result.

“I would expect them to make a real challenge for the top six but we have to concentrate on our own stuff.

“We will do everything we can to get a good result, I would expect them sooner rather than later to climb the table.”