Chris Powell returns to Southend United as manager

by Jack Kitson / 23 January 2018, 13:15

It’s all go in League One as Southend United become the second third-tier club in the space of an hour to name a new manager, as Chris Powell returns to Roots Hall following the sacking of Phil Brown.

Earlier in the day MK Dons appointed Dan Micciche as Robbie Neilson’s replacement at Stadium MK.

Southend placed Brown on “gardening leave” last week, ending his five-year reign as manager. It was Chris Powell who swiftly emerged as the favourite for the post, and now a week later he has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the League One strugglers.

A popular appointment

Powell made 290 appearances for Southend between 1990 and 1996, and back in 2004 he was voted the club’s all-time cult hero in a BBC poll. He went on to sport the jersey of the likes of Derby, Charlton, West Ham and Leicester, winning promotion with each club.

Powell’s return to the Blues as manager has so far been greeted with exuberance on social media by the club’s fans, who are buoyed by the club’s decision to hand the job to the 48-year-old.

Managerial experience

Powell entered into management back in 2011 with Charlton, with whom he went on to lead to the League One title, followed by a 9th place finish on their return to the Championship.

Powell lost his job in 2014 when Charlton were bottom of the table, but returned to the dugout the following season with Huddersfield. Under Powell the Terriers finished 16th in the Championship, but he was sacked in November 2015 with the club down in 18th...a certain David Wagner replaced him…

Powell re-appeared at former club Derby in the summer of 2016, becoming Nigel Pearson’s assistant, and he went on to oversee two games in caretaker charge after Pearson was suspended. Powell remained at the club under Steve McClaren but exited in March 2017 after the later was sent packing.

A tricky trio of fixtures awaits Powell

Southend have had an absolute stinker of late, losing seven of their last eight league games, a sorry streak which leaves the club dangling one point and on place above the drop zone. The Shrimpers have yet to win in 2018, while they’ve lost their last four successive matches.

In other words Powell has a big job on his hands.

Powell will spend the rest of the week getting to know his new squad - and attempting to lure over new recruits - before locking horns with Graham Alexander’s high-flying Scunthorpe (4th) on Saturday. This is followed by tricky fixtures against play-off chasing Peterborough and league leaders Wigan.

The Blues are currently the seventh most likely club to be relegated (7/2 with Bet Victor), but while they are only a point above the drop zone, the club are just five points off 12th place, and they can be also be backed at 7/2 to finish in the top-half.

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