Southend United v Harrogate Town: Simon Weaver looking for a more controlled display on League Two debut

Harrogate Town make their League Two debut at Southend United's Roots Hall on Saturday. Pictures: Getty ImagesHarrogate Town make their League Two debut at Southend United's Roots Hall on Saturday. Pictures: Getty Images
Harrogate Town make their League Two debut at Southend United's Roots Hall on Saturday. Pictures: Getty Images
Simon Weaver is looking for a more controlled display from his Harrogate Town players when they make their League Two debut at Southend United on Saturday.

The Wetherby Road outfit will travel to Roots Hall riding the crest of a wave and full of confidence following last month's National League play-off final triumph over Notts County at Wembley.

They have lost just once in their last 18 competitive outings and kicked-off 2020/21 by beating Tranmere Rovers on penalties in the first round of the Carabao Cup, before coming from two goals down to earn a 2-2 EFL Trophy draw at Grimsby Town in midweek.

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But, Weaver was unhappy that his charges allowed Tuesday's clash with the Mariners to become "like a basketball game" and says that they must avoid the same thing happening at Southend if they are to begin their first-ever Football League campaign the right way.

Town boss Simon Weaver.Town boss Simon Weaver.
Town boss Simon Weaver.

"Our style is not to be over-confident, but hopefully we can come away from Southend with something," he told the Harrogate Advertiser.

"We're in for the three points, but if we don't get the three we'll try and be gritty and come away with something.

"If we want that result then we will have to wise up a bit and try and problem-solve better than we did the other night if the game becomes end-to-end and we're not in control.

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"It's important that we try and dominate the ball and play to our strengths so that do have that control.

"We have to play our own game and try and seize the moment without letting the occasion get to us. It's been so far, so good in that respect at Tranmere and Grimsby, so I think we'll be okay."

Plagued by off-the-field issues and financial problems, Southend were relegated from League One last term, finishing second-from-bottom of the table having won just four of their 35 third-tier fixtures.

The Shrimpers have recently appointed Mark Molesley - the man who led Weymouth to promotion to the National League last term - as their manager, but remain under a transfer embargo and were this week rocked by the departure of key striker Stephen Humphrys to Rochdale.

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Weaver, however, will not be taking Saturday's opponents lightly.

"We've done our homework on Southend. We expect tough opponents," he added.

"I think they'll surprise a few themselves this season despite changing management teams and a fair change in their playing squad.

"They're a big, physical team but they do move the ball around well and they've got pace in wide areas, so we expect a hard game."

Kick-off at Roots Hall on Saturday is at 3pm.

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