So after 4 straight defeats on the spin, which included exiting two Cup competitions (FA and JPT), the mighty Shrimpers seemed to have bounced back by taking 7 points out of the last available 9.
Manager Paul Sturrock has dipped into the transfer market and recruited striker Elliott Benyon from Swindon Town and winger David Martin from Derby County, both on 18 month contracts, whilst midfielder Michael Timlin has made his loan move from Swindon permanent.
And it certainly showed on Saturday as the ‘new look’ Shrimpers brushed aside Port Vale 3 nil with a confident swagger that has been sorely missing in recent weeks. The recent home defeat to Bradford City saw a team that looked nervous, edgy and lacking in confidence – passes were misplaced, hopeless long balls were hoofed to nobody in particular and certain players looked tired.
The fans themselves were edgy, nervous and lacking in confidence and could be heard voicing their concerns at both home & away games. There was a real danger that the Boys in Blue could slip into the play-off pack after leading the table for so long.
However the injection of the new blood into the side for the Port Vale game seemed to spark the Shrimpers back to life and they looked much more like their old selves, more like the team that sat proudly at the top of League 2 for much of the season. Winger Ryan Hall, our main creative outlet who has been a shadow of his former self in recent weeks, was back to his best with his trickery and jinking, mazy runs. The defence seemed to look more solid after a few weeks of being as wobbly as a jelly, and overall they looked like a side that started to believe in themselves again.
As I write we are sitting pretty in second place, one point from the top, with a better goal difference than both Crawley ( 1st place ) and Cheltenham ( 3rd place ), and we are on the verge of bolstering the squad further by signing Bolton Wanderers’ young England U19 striker Jack Sampson on loan.
After a serious dip in form and results, things are starting to look rosy again with the Shrimpers showing signs of that famous Ian Holloway pearl of wisdom - bouncebackability.
Up the Shrimpers
Lee Morgan @LeeM_007
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