Doncaster Rovers: The lowdown on Saturday’s hosts Southend United

Southend boss Chris Powell
Southend boss Chris Powell

The ship has been steadied down at Southend following the arrival at the helm of Chris Powell in January.

A side that seemed to be spiralling towards a relegation fight has been stabilised, just in time for Rovers’ visit to Roots Hall on Saturday.

We spoke to Southend Echo chief sports reporter Chris Phillips to get the lowdown on the Shrimpers and the impact Powell has made so far.

Q: How has Chris Powell been getting on since his arrival?

Chris Phillips: Powell has done really well in the job so far. When he took over Southend were just one place and one point above the relegation zone and had been beaten eight times in their last nine games. But Powell won four and drew one of his first five games before suffering his first defeat against Walsall at the weekend.

Off the pitch he’s a popular figure due to his spell here as a player and the impressive way he conducts himself.

Q: What were the expectations for Southend this season?

CP: Expectations were quite high at the start of the season after just missing out on the play-offs by a point last time around.

Some big signings were made in the summer as well but after an opening day win against Blackburn the team struggled to hit top form.

Q: What are the hopes for the rest of the season?

CP: Just to win as many games as possible. There’s a very small chance of maybe making the play-offs but realistically I think it’s just important to build on Powell’s good start and get in a good place for next season.

Thankfully, the threat of relegation seems to have gone now but nobody is getting carried away.

Q: How does Powell like to set the side up and what is the style of play?

CP: A 4-4-2 formation has been used in all of the matches since he came in. The style of play has been quite attacking with nine goals being scored in his first three home games.

Q: Who are the danger men to look out for?

CP: Michael Kightly had been in really good form before picking up a hamstring injury. He had scored three goals in four games and is now available again after coming off the bench at the weekend.

Q: Match prediction?

CP: Southend to win 2-1, sorry!