Sturrock enjoying Shrimpers squad

PA Sport
Paul Sturrock
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Paul Sturrock

Southend boss Paul Sturrock is excited about the squad he has assembled as the Shrimpers went back to the top of the table after twice coming from behind to register a 5-2 victory at lowly Northampton.

John Johnson and Saido Berahino twice gave the Cobblers the first-half advantage but David Martin and Liam Dickinson, with a second-half penalty, put the visitors back on level terms. Substitute Bilel Mohsni then came off the bench to bag two goals either side of Dickinson grabbing his second.

"I'm very excited about the squad I've got and that showed with players who can come off the bench and have a big influence on the game," said Sturrock.

"We had to show a lot of character to win that game, and I mean the whole squad, including the substitutes. Bilel Mohsni is a quality player and a bit of a character as well. But he's come on and turned the game for us.

He added: "We're back on top but we've just got to keep winning games and then other teams have got to try and catch us. But we've got some difficult games coming up, especially away from home, so the more points we can get on the board now the better it will be for us."

Despite seeing his side go bottom of the table, Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd was proud of the way they performed but admits they need to do it for the whole 90 minutes.

"We're probably the best team in the league with our first-half performances but we don't carry that through in the second half," said Boothroyd.

"We're not playing for the full 90 minutes, only 80 but it's not rugby union. We didn't switch on in the latter stages of the game and we've been punished for that.

"But up to the last 10 minutes I don't think there was much between the two sides and I'm not sure a neutral supporter would know which team was second from top and which one was second from bottom.

"We were up against a top team with a very good squad but it wasn't a 5-2 game. We never gave up and we're going to need that every week if we are going to pull away from the bottom."

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