Going Down?: Southend United

What's gone wrong this season for your team?
We took time to adapt to this league, whilst still putting in the odd brilliant performance. We had some good results, but unfortunately couldn't win enough games at home to ensure a mid-table finish.

Are you behind the manager? Or is it all his fault?
Definitely behind him. Steve Tilson is the best thing that has happened to this club for a good number of years. With him and Brush leading the team I feel that the team will be a secure championship team in a couple of years. Unlike teams around us we haven't sacked our manager, showing the faith we have in his managerial ability.

Which will be the key games in your run-in?
Our home games against fellow strugglers, Luton and Barnsley in particular, stand out along with the local derby against Colchester at home.

Predict how many points you'll finish on. Will that be enough to stay up?
48 and yes I do think we will stay up.

Do you think Hull City will survive the drop?
Yes, I think you have got some good players at Hull and I reckon you'll be okay. Phil Brown is a good manager and I think he'll keep you up. However, all the teams down the bottom who survive need to strengthen to avoid the same situation next season.

Which three teams are going down?
Burnley have got to be careful no win in 18 games and they're getting sucked in quickly, but the 3 going down will be:
QPR - They were terrible against us when we stuffed them 5-0 at home, and I can't see them avoiding it.
Luton - In complete disarray. No manager, board room falling apart, it's all going wrong at Luton. They sold their best players and have failed to replace them, and I can't see them picking up m any points as their confidence is pretty low at the moment. Our game against them could decide their fate at the bottom.
Leeds - I just think they're too far behind to escape. They have a tough run- in playing Derby, Preston and Southampton. It is a shame but defensively they just don't look solid enough. If they go down it will be a disaster for the football club.

If you're staying up, will you be in another relegation fight next season?/If you're going down will you bounce straight back up?
I think we'll be okay next year as we will have had a bit of experience so I think we'll be okay, we have a new stadium to look forward to so we could really do with staying in this league and establish ourselves as a championship club, and push on from there.

Southend's form this season:


Martin Paterson is editor of The Little Gazette.