They might be heading to Highbury on a nine match winless run, but tomorrow’s visitors Southend have been tipped as play-off place contenders by Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler.
Southend have only picked up seven points from their opening eight games but Rosler says Shrimpers boss Phil Brown has developed a side with Championship qualities.
Rosler said: “It is not important where they are now; it is not important were we are now. It is important where you are at the beginning of May.
“With the players Southend have and the coaching staff, they have a lot of experience. “Phil always set a team up like a Championship team and they have Championship qualities. That is what they are aiming for and I think they are a force to be reckoned with for those play-off places.”
Town have never lost to the Shrimpers at Highbury butlast time the sides met there in January Fleetwood needed a last-gasp David Ball wonder goal to cancel out Anthony Wordsworth’s strike.
It was a game that kept Town’s mammoth unbeaten run going and kept the Shrimpers at bay in the race for a play-off place.
Brown’s men just missed out on a top- six finish last term, whenRosler’s side were fourth.
And the Town boss says it will be an interesting battle tomorrow between two sides with different recruitment models – Brown has opted for experience, while Town have the youngest squad in the division.
Rosler said: “Last year the games were very competitive, especially the game at home. We were actually fortunate to get the equaliser.
“That was a big, big point for us because we kept Southend at a distance for the play-off places.
Southend are getting a lot of experienced players, who are in the prime of their careers and have a lot of games under their belt.
“They have a lot of game management and know exactly what to do. We are the opposite.
“They didn’t have the best start to the season, but the longer the season goes those experienced players will win you games.
“They have invested heavily. I know Rob Kiernan was not cheap from Glasgow Rangers. Now they have got Josh Wright from Gillingham, who scored last year 14 goals. They are a force to be reckoned with
“I think it will be cagey, I don’t think the game will be won in the first 20 minutes. I think we have a game-plan and hopefully it will work.” for us, you never know.
“I’m sure Phil will come up with something like he did last year, it is just an interesting battle between the two clubs and hopefully we can keep our one hundred percent (home) record.”