Paul Sturrock: 'Could have been difficult for Bilel Mohsni as he's had a sniff of the Premiership'
By westfield shrimper
Updated Thursday, 3rd February 2011
In his weekly Echo column Southend United manager Paul Sturrock has spoken about the dramas of the transfer deadline day and how close Bilel Mohsni came to joining Blackpool.
Sturrock: 'Fans have been fantastic in the last few games we've had'
While repeating a lot from his previous utterings this week, deserving to beat Oxford after a sluggish start, the change of formation, and sneaking up on others to be just outside the play-off zone, his words about Bilel Mohsni and the transfer saga that never was are what makes the most interesting reading.
However, first about our return to some decent home form, two wins on the trot now at Roots Hall in our run of five unbeaten including three successive victories, and in beating Oxford United 2-1 Tuesday it meant our second double of the season after Rotherham United.
Sturrock told www.echo-news.co.uk: "If you want to be challenging for promotion then your home form has to be second to none so hopefully we can now build on beating Oxford and do well on a consistent basis on our own ground. They are a strong side who have been in and around the play-offs for most of the season so for us to beat them was great. I think the fact we've now managed to get more of a settled side has helped us pick up better results and the players now know each other's games."
Fair enough, and let's hope it can continue against Shrewsbury on Saturday, we can smell that top seven!
But what about the boy called Bilel?
Four goals in four games, it doesn't seem to matter if he plays up front or at centre-half, the French Tunisian will find the back of the net at the moment!
Even so there were many nervous moments as the January transfer window came to close Monday evening, as all signs were pointing to Mohsni being whipped off to the Premiership with Blackpool who had one reported offer of £250,000, possibily raising up to £600k with added clauses, turned down.
Concerns that he might feel upset at being robbed of the opportunity of performing at the top level didmissed by Luggy.
Sturrock revealed all: "Bilel Mohsni also popped up with the winning goal again and it's great he's still with us because he's an important member of our team. It was Blackpool who came in for him just before the transfer window closed but their offer wasn't acceptable. It could have been difficult for Bilel because he's now had a sniff of the Premier League but he's on a learning curve with us and it will do him good to get more games. There are a rough edges he still needs to smooth out but he is a player of real potential and has done well this season."
So it could be tough to hold on to Bilel in the summer, but on to more pressing matters.
Already in the play-off zone, and they've been up there nearly all season, we welcome the Shrews to south-east Essex at the weekend, and another three points would come in very handy!
Luggy concluded: "It's another hard game as they are going for a top three finish and have been in contention for that virtually all year. But we're full of confidence at the moment and it's a game we're really looking forward to. Hopefully the fans can really get behind us again too because they have been fantastic in the last few games we've had."
For the Full Echo article, go here: