"The Name's Bond... Kevin Bond..." - TBV Bulletin 04

posted 4 Apr 2019, 11:23 by Dan McEvoy   [ updated 11 Apr 2019, 16:50 ]

From now until the end of the season, each Thursday a member of TBV will be posting their thoughts and comments from the games in the previous weeks, and previewing the week's games ahead for our team. This week, we're focusing on last weekend's game, the arrival of a new manager, a surprise visitor at the training grounds, and our final 6 games. Please remember that all of the views and opinions included in this bulletin are the opinions of individuals involved with TBV, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club.

It's been an interesting week so far at Southend, with a new manager being appointed, a special visit to the training ground by a "king", and a lot of talk about the weekend's fixture and getting things right again. But I guess firstly, we have to talk about last weekend's game, and I promise I'll get it out of the way as quickly as possible...

Ricky Duncan took charge of the team temporarily as Southend took on Shrewsbury at Roots Hall, and it really was a tale of 2 halves. The side were looking pretty good for the first half, and talking to a few people at half time, they were encouraged with how well we were playing... the 2nd half, however, was unfortunately abysmal. We looked defeated in the 2nd 45 mins, even more so when we conceded Shrewsbury's first goal, and it's incredibly sad to see my team, a team of arguably talented players, almost look defeated. It's telling when half the home crowd cheered and sang "we've had a shot" in the 75th minute for our first, and only shot on target (I think!) all game. It saddens me, not because of the ironic cheering, but because I know that we, as a team, are much, much better than that, and seeing us with so little confidence is frustrating for even the most die-hard fan of the club. 

Moving back to this week's news, and the main piece of news started on Tuesday, when Ron Martin appointed Kevin Bond as our new manager. I'll be the first to admit, I didn't see that coming, and you only had to look on Twitter to see that fellow fans thought that he was a surprising pick to replace Chris Powell in charge. But, as we said on Twitter on Tuesday, regardless of what you think of the appointment of Bond, we have 6 games left to save our season and secure our place in League One for the 2019/20 season. Now's not the time to get on anyone's back, the team desperately needs our support more than ever. As someone who will be making the long haul trip to Fleetwood on Saturday, it's now more than ever that the team needs their fans to help inspire them. With Bond in charge, this is possibly his toughest mission to date, and 3 points on Saturday is an absolute must. In my opinion, we need to approach the final 6 games with 'A View To A Kill', and smash 'The Living Daylights' out of the opposition. Hopefully Bond will be giving the team a 'Licence To Kill' on Saturday, whilst also helping our team get a '(Golden)Eye' for goal again, and hopefully he'll inspire our players to 'Never Say Never Again', and come the full time whistle on the 4th May, Southend will live to Die Another Day in League One, and dismiss the Sceptre of relegation......Ok, I promise that's most of the Bond puns out of the way... for now. 

Moving on, and it was reported that Harry Redknapp, former PL manager and 2018's "King of the Jungle" made a special visit at the training ground to visit Kevin Bond and give some words of encouragement to our squad. It's good to see that Harry supports Kevin Bond, and it also must be great for the squad mentally knowing that a figure such as Harry Redknapp, a bloke who was once tipped to become the next England manager a long while ago, is going to be supporting them for the final 6 games of the season. If that's not motivation enough to get the players playing football again, I don't know what will be. Saturday is a huge game, but so has the last few games that we've wrote about. Fleetwood will be no pushovers, I think we all know that. Having said that, I do feel like this weekend's fixture against them is going to be one that we NEED to win. A point is not enough on Saturday, we desperately need all 3 points and secure safety as quickly as physically possible. As soon as safety is ensured, at that point we need to assess what we've got left, and rebuild and go again in the summer. 

On the positives, Humphrys is finally back in training, and pushing for a return on Saturday. It's clear to me that we've lacked a player of his calibre for ages, and that's partly down to injury... as is most things this season with our club. Reading the interview with him in today's (Thursday's) Echo, and it's really great to hear that Humphrys wants to play for us on Saturday, and do whatever it takes in the final 6 games to avoid relegation. His injury at Accrington away is one of the worst facial injury I've seen at a game - broken legs and snapped ankles are much more common injuries in football... but to see someone score a goal and end up with a broken nose and being completely knocked out before the ball even went in the net was horrific - being in the stands, the joy of celebrating a goal quickly turned into an obvious concern for our player's wellbeing. The last player I saw with a facial injury that bad was former Southend midfielder Michael Timlin at Stevenage away in the 2015 play-offs. I didn't think I'd see something top that injury personally, but Humphrys' injury has to be the worst facial injury I've seen, and the most concerning one for those watching in the stands.

Humphrys does still need an operation on his nose at the end of the season, but he will be aiming to return to action this Saturday, sporting a Harry Kane-esque protective face mask, which is obviously fantastic news as we need him more than ever right now. His determination is testament to his fighting spirit, and that's what we need at Southend right now, players who are willing to put their bodies on the line and do whatever it takes to keep Southend in League 1. Whether or not you're heading off to Fleetwood this weekend or not, 6 games are left, and I know that none of our fans want us to go down. Keep supporting the team, give them something to fight for. They continue to need our support and we need to stick together as a club for the final 6 games - the great escape is still ON.

We are Southend... UNITED.


Everyone involved with TBV