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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 20 December 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton gives us his assessment of tonight's Carling Cup quarter-final opponents Southend United at the Lane.

Chris Hughton gives us his assessment of tonight's Carling Cup quarter-final opponents Southend United at the Lane.

SOUTHEND are certainly a good footballing side. They have had some problems adjusting to the Championship and perhaps that's the reason why - they are very much a footballing side and with that comes an element of risk.

They are capable of producing against anyone on their day and everyone will have seen that against Manchester United in the last round. That was a wonderful win and probably one of the biggest in their history.

Generally, they line-up in a 4-4-2 system. The back four will possibly be Lewis Hunt, who can play right-back or midfield or Simon Francis at right-back, the centre-halves have been very consistent in Efe Sodje and Spencer Prior, who has had a good career at the top level. At left-back there is a lad called Steven Hammell who has a good left foot, good on the ball and a danger at set-pieces.

Of the four across midfield, we know two very well. Mark Gower on the left, a good footballer, two good feet and therefore has the option of cutting in onto his right foot and in the central areas they've Kevin Maher, who has had a very good career at Southend since he left us. He's captain and a very consistent performer. Alan McCormack, who likes to get forward, is also central and on the right is a young lad called Jamal Campbell-Ryce and every time I've seen him he's done well. He's playing regularly, seems to enjoy that fact and is a handful, he likes to run at players.

Up front they've Lee Bradbury, an experienced forward who has played for Manchester City, Palace and Portsmouth earlier in his career and Freddy Eastwood, the lad everyone is talking about. He is someone who can produce a variety of goals and one to watch.