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I used to play a little.
Oct 24, 2003
I am genuinely excited to see Southend’s response to our first loss in 17 games. I believe the next 5 games will tell us an awful lot about the character we have in the squad. It goes without saying that a 17 game unbeaten run displays the true quality of the team but I believe the next 5 games will shape our season.

It is a fact of life that everyone will experience getting knocked down but the question is will we get back up? As a firm believer in the importance of the mental side of sport, I await to see the psychological impact that defeat will bring about for our boys. As Vince Lombardi once said, “winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing”. In my eyes what this demonstrates is that although you need to possess an element of skill and quality to go on such a run, it is the development of other attributes, mainly confidence, that winning breeds. It is possible that one loss can create self doubt. “Self-doubt is the little voice in your head saying "You Can Do It!" and the big voice saying "I Wish You Would"...listen to the little voice”. If you bear in mind the following quote, “Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment,” this summarises the positive effects of the winning formula that Paul Sturrock has put in place. But, if our players fail to find the true warrior within themselves then they will fall foul of the following rule, “All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts”. Quite simply, the players have shown to all associated with the club that we have the ability to succeed, but perhaps, in my opinion, the mindset is the one key thing that stands between success and failure (not winning promotion given our position) this season.

The class and ability of some of our players has shone through each week, whilst the form of others has come to the fore. We can’t look past the fact that other performances have not been so great and yet we have crept over the line owing much to the fact that winning is habitual and the hunger for 3 points increases each and every time you gain a taste of a hard fought success. Just a reminder for your thoughts on how things have changed, I take a quote from the Southend Echo (via our website)which I hope illustrates both the importance of us as fans but also highlights how our fortunes could change… “Southend United manager Paul Sturrock has called on the club’s supporters to remain right behind his team – starting with tomorrow’s trip to Bury. Blues fans have been quick to express their frustrations, particularly at Roots Hall, so far this season. But Sturrock – who took control of the Southend during the summer – now wants them to become a 12th man for his side." Sturrock went onto say that he understands our position as fans but that our support is more important than ever. Let’s give some consideration to the importance of supporting the team through thick and thin. Luggy has done a great job since taking over at the club and he deserves our backing now and whilst I know most will still be on a high, I think many of us have experienced how quickly things can turn, during our time supporting the Shrimpers and perhaps in other walks of life. You may find that some fans quickly become critical if we fail to churn out results in the upcoming weeks and one reason for this is the expectation that a winning run creates. Remember this expectation exists for all stakeholders of Southend United – be it players, staff or fans! So don't lose sight of the fact that we are all united together.

This is a time to enforce Iain Dowie’s principle of bouncebackability – “the ability to recover after a setback.” I, for one, believe that we have the man in Paul Sturrock and the mix of players with the experience of senior pro’s in the side but also the exuberance of youth to be able to get a win next time out and restore that positive winning feeling and formula. But, never underestimate the detriment that a loss can cause. We have it in our hands to do something about it and cheer the Blues on right until the end of the current campaign come rain or shine. The forum has been a great place over the last few months, let’s keep it that way. Stay positive and believe.

With Zest,
Southend4Ever (In a seat at my office desk on a dreary Thursday morning, feeling pumped and passionate about the upcoming games)