Chris Powell has overseen a revival of sorts at Roots Hall, halted abruptly this weekend by Walsall, but still enough to steer them away from the danger area in League One.
Powell returns to the club which gave him a start as a player and comes with the credentials and desire to fire Southend up the table. With a new stadium in the offing, it could be a good time to take the helm, especially if he can bring stability to the side on the pitch.
One task Powell will be relishing is that of squad reshaping in the summer. One player likely to be on his way out of Roots Hall is striker Theo Robinson, a Phil Brown signing who has not settled since arriving just over a year ago.
Robinson was a deadline day signing from Lincoln City, arriving on the back of several high-profile FA Cup goals early in Lincoln’s historic run. He bagged a brace at Portman Road in their 2-2 draw with Ipswich as well as a late strike to send out then-Championship leaders Brighton 3-1. That form prompted Brown to make a late move for him as the transfer window edged closed.
Since his move, Robinson has started just five league games, coming off the bench 30 times. He scored twice in League One, both goals coming last season. This campaign he’s been used either as a late sub or in the Checkatrade Trophy, where he did score twice. He’s been prolific for the U23 side too, bagging a four goals in a 5-0 win against MK Dons recently. It has all been to no avail though, there seems no way back into the first eleven for the
He was the subject of a loan bid from Colchester United in January, but reports suggest he turned the move down in favour of a return to his former club Lincoln City. Southend preferred a move closer to home and eventually the window slammed shut with him still a Shrimper, for now.
He’s played just seven minutes of football under Powell, coming on as an 83rd minute sub as they beat promotion hopefuls Scunthorpe United 3-2 at Roots Hall. He did sufficiently impress to get additional time on the pitch and his failed move looks set to come to an abrupt end in the summer. Powell will be hoping to bring in his own men and those at the club likely to remain are the players getting regular game time now.
Where next for Robinson? He dropped into non-league with Lincoln in order to win a move back up the divisions, which explains why he jumped ship so quickly last season with the Imps flying high in the National League. He seemed to be holding out for a move back to Sincil Bank in January, but will the opportunity still be there?
At 29, Theo Robinson does still have a lot to offer the right club, but that surely won’t be Southend United.
Southend fans, what are your thoughts? Has Robinson been given a fair chance in the first team? Or should he never have been signed in the first place? Let us know your thoughts in the comment below.