It's out, table tennis is Blues secret weapon!

No Stop-ing Shrimpers

Southend will launch another promotion charge - after a dingdong over ping-pong.

Steve Tilson's troops were hot favourites to land a place in the Championship after just missing out in last season's play-offs.

But they suffered the hangover from hell, rooted in the bottom three after losing four of their opening six games.

Table-tennis fanatic Tilson needed a way to fire up his underachievers - and found it on the training ground ping-pong table.

The Shrimpers have won their last four, and striker Dougie Freedman said: "It gives us an edge. The manager rates himself highly and he's already taken a bit of cash off the younger lads."

(Edited from www.mirror.co.uk, Saturday October 11, 2008)