Rovers have had an encouraging start to the season with battling draws against Bury and Wigan and the stunning win against Leeds United on penalties so should be full of confidence going into the Southend game on Wednesday night.
Southend should be enjoying life in the third tier following their dramatic promotion from league 2 via the play offs. The Shrimpers have found life difficult in league 1 so far however with a draw and a defeat interspersed with a league cup exit at the hands of Brighton. If things don’t improve expect Southend boss Phil Brown to publicly berate his entire team in the centre circle. This time he might make his players hold up a sign that says ‘I’m a c*nt’.
Rovers and Southend have an identical head to head record with 13 wins each and 5 draws and both teams are yet to win a league match this season so you get the feeling that something has got to give at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Hoping to keep his place will be young midfielder Harry Middleton who has impressed in his last two appearances and Gary MacKenzie will be looking to continue at centre back after making his debut in the 0-0 draw at the DW stadium on Sunday afternoon. Definitely not playing however is Nathan Tyson who is out for 6-8 weeks with a hamstring injury. Paul Dickov will surely be looking at reinforcements in attack as we are currently one Andy Williams injury away from Curtis Main being our only striker. A truly chilling thought.
There are no real familiar faces in the Southend team but expect new signings Noel Hunt and Anthony Wordsworth to feature. Unfortunately Dave Penney won’t be in the Southend dugout as he’s left his position as assistant manager to Phil Brown at Southend. A huge shame as I’d been practising ‘There’s only one Dave Penney’
This is the first time the two teams have met since James Coppinger’s unforgettable hat trick in the 2008 playoff semi final. Coppinger is in line to start again and after a superb showing against Leeds he will be looking to pile on further misery to the Southend fans. One of my favourite past times is to get roaring drunk and force friends and family to watch Coppinger’s famous hat trick. As you can imagine this has led to the majority of people choosing to politely decline when I invite them round. Me and the cat still watch it every night however shortly before I cry myself to sleep…
Match Prediction – Rovers have created loads of chances in the last two games with only a penalty to show for it. Expect the penny to drop against Southend. 3-0 Williams (2) and Forrester.
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