Date:Friday April 4 2014
Assistant manager Dave Penney has said he would dearly love to be able to walk around as say he's 18 again following the game against Cheltenham Town this weekend.
Okay, maybe not quite that far, but he would definitely like to be able to say the team have kept 18 clean sheets so it's close enough for me!
We have already equalled goalkeeper Daniel Bentley's shirt number, which was something he wanted to achieve ahead of our last game, and now Penney has gone further and called on the side to make the number 18 this weekend.
Speaking to the Official Site after seeing us pick up four clean sheets in a row the assistant gaffer said it was credit to absolutely everyone involved that we had got ourselves on this kind of run and rekindled our play off hopes after 12 games without a win, and now he really wants to see us push on.
Four clean sheets in the last four also sees us unbeaten in the last six.
'17 clean sheets is a credit to everyone that has been involved so far this season because it's everyone's hard work. The defenders and Daniel Bentley will take immense pride in that, and so should everyone else, from the midfielders to the strikers. Everyone loves to score goals, but the clean sheets give us a fantastic platform. If you keep a clean sheet you're guaranteed to take at least a point and more often than not, we do score.'
Penney goes on to pass huge credit on to on loan duo John Egan and Jakub Sokolik for the way they have performed at the back and he thinks it's immense credit to their performances when you consider they are keeping Luke Prosser out of the side.
On that score Egan has also had immense praise for Prosser in another interview talking about how helpful he is, and how despite them keeping him out of the team, he's always there with advice, hints and tips on how they can improve and basically what an immense professional he is because of that, but for Egan it's also a pointer towards the overall team spirit at the club because it is club first for the players and it doesn't take a genius to know that Prosser is frustrated at not being on the pitch.
It's a fantastic testament really and even though it's how it should be at a club, it's nice to see Prosser getting the praise he deserves for that.
Getting back to Penney, in a second interview himself he talks more about Cheltenham's threats and how he knows what a tough game it will be.
'They're a good side and they've got plenty of experience. The likes of Noble, Richards, Harrison and McGlashan are all top players at this level. I watched them at Wimbledon a few weeks ago, they were in cruise control at 2-0 up, but switched off, went 3-2 down and ended up losing the game 4-3. It's going to be a very tough trip, it's a big game, but they all are between now and the end of the season if we're going to achieve promotion.'
With six league games left, Penney admits he'd like nothing more than to make that nine games between now and the end of this season, but in order for that to happen we have to win and keep our current run going and that's the focus for this weekend. Another step on six remaining stairs that give us the right to try for three more.
Date:Friday April 4 2014
The Report: Southend 0 Burton Albion 0 (Sunday December 21 2014)
Stats: Southend v Burton (Friday December 19 2014)
The Preview: Southend v Burton Albion (Friday December 19 2014)
Penney Up For Burton Friday Night Lights (Thursday December 18 2014)
West Ham's Lee Could Return (Thursday December 18 2014)
Brown Considering Williams Recall (Wednesday December 17 2014)
Smith Closing On First-Team Spot (Wednesday December 17 2014)
Former Liverpool Defender Returns To Yeovil (Tuesday December 16 2014)
Heavy Defeat Disappoints Brown (Monday December 15 2014)
The Report: Wycombe Wanderers 4 Southend 1 (Sunday December 14 2014)
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