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Perch: We take confidence from Southend encounter

15 March 2019

Midfielder James Perch believes the Iron can take plenty of confidence going into the game against Portsmouth on Saturday following the 4-1 success over Southend on Tuesday night.

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The result in midweek moved the Iron up to 15th in the league table, as they overtook their rivals Southend who dropped to 18th.

Perch reflected back on the importance of that win when speaking to iFollow Iron ahead of the Portsmouth encounter.

He said: “It was a massive win considering we lost the game before. We went into Tuesday knowing it was a must win match for us. We coped with that and I thought we did really well.”  

The 33-year-old was also on the scoresheet against the Shrimpers and was delighted to net his first goal in over two months.

Perch rounded off the scoring with a powerful header from close range that left Nathan Bishop in the Southend goal with no chance, as he put the game to bed in the 78th minute. 

Speaking about his goal, he went on to say: “I was buzzing to score. There’s no better feeling than scoring a goal. 

“Macca (Tony McMahon) lined up the cross and I drifted into the box with nobody marking me, so I had a free header from eight yards out.”

Following the victory, Perch believes the result can only fill the Iron with confidence and momentum as they look to carry the form over to Portsmouth this weekend. 

He continued: “Winning obviously helps with confidence massively. 

“The way we beat Southend was convincing as well and that goes a long way into leading us into the game against Portsmouth on Saturday because we will be going there in high spirits.”

Portsmouth currently sit fourth in the league table as they search for automatic promotion, and Perch knows the Iron will have to be at the top of their game to beat them.

He said: “I expect them to bring everything they’ve got. They are going to be bang at it because they are chasing the top two spots, so we know it’s going to be a tough game. 

“However, we’ve shown that we can handle the big teams on the road, and we’ll be looking to go there and cause an upset because they will be thinking they can roll us over.” 

Fratton Park is renowned for its atmosphere. Despite playing well over 400 games in his career so far, Perch is yet to play a competitive match at Portsmouth.

However, the experienced midfielder says he is looking forward to the prospect of playing on the Portsmouth pitch and insists the atmosphere will not be a factor.

He stated: “I don’t think the big atmosphere will affect us, if anything, it will affect them more because they will be expecting to win. 

“I’m excited to go down there and play and hopefully we can quieten their fans a bit.”

Saturday will mark the Iron’s third game in the space of a week and, with a wealth of experience to his name, Perch knows how to handle these situations well. 

He continued: “As a player you just get on with it. We’ll be sat on a nice comfy coach, so we can chill out, relax and try to stay calm. 

“We’ll also get as much rest as we can and drink as much as we can. It’s a long journey, but by the time we play on Saturday, that will be well out of our legs.”

Speaking about how preparations have been going ahead of the Portsmouth encounter, Perch said: “We had a light session today (Thursday) because of the Saturday and Tuesday games we’ve had, but Friday is another working day and we’ll work hard focussing on the match.”

Finally, he added his thoughts going into the game and said: “I’m feeling confident.  

“We can take a lot of momentum from the game against Southend on Tuesday and take that to Portsmouth and we’ll see how we can handle it.”

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