Tag Archive: Paul Sturrock

By Tony Alvarez
The last fixture of the season in the English Football leagues takes place at Wembley on Sunday as the league 2 play off final is contested between Crewe and Cheltenham.
Both sides are vying to make the step up and be playing in League One next year, there is also many players hoping this fixture can put them in the shop window for a move onto bigger and better things.

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By Laurie Fitzgerald

Torquay United go into the crucial Easter period knowing that they are very much in control of their own destiny in the battle for automatic promotion.

The Gulls find themselves in the top three going into the final weeks of the League Two season, and a possible second promotion in the past three years is very much on the agenda.

Martin Ling‘s side took another big step towards this aim last week when a 1-0 win at Barnet made it four wins from their last five league matches, and just two points adrift of leaders Swindon Town.

They are one of the form teams of the division going into the business end of the campaign, and have a manager that knows what it takes to get the players into League One.

45 year-old Ling was in charge of Leyton Orient when they gained promotion to the third tier of English football back in 2006, and on top of that he ensured the O’s stayed there the following season – laying the foundations for the East London club to remain there ever since.     Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez

I like to look forward to matches I will be attending so although this match doesn’t have the same attraction as the Crawley vs Cheltenham clash I previewed a couple of weeks back I have choose to look ahead at this evenings League Two tie.

Aldershot welcome Southend (and me) to their EBB Stadium on the back of a short spell of fine form having picked up some much needed points, after Saturdays 1-0 victory over Macclesfield Dean Holdsworth’s men have won their last three and picked up 10 points from the last 12 available to calm any relegation fears there were around the club, this is despite having a terrible January on and off the pitch.

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By Tony Alvarez

Following Southend United’s 1-1 draw at their Roots Hall home against Crawley on Saturday the Essex side currently lie second in League Two with 26 points from 13 games which leaves them 2 points behind current leaders Crawley.

 Sturrock’s Southend side were un-fancied for promotion before the start of the season with nothing more than a mid table finish expected from them by many fans and pundits, however until Saturdays draw they were top of the league and the early pace setters in League Two.

Many believe that the clubs success is down to manager Paul Sturrock who has a proven track record of gaining promotions through the Football Leagues, a feat he has achieved with multiple clubs.

Despite only having a single club as a player (Dundee United) Sturrock has been at the helm of 8 different clubs in a managerial career that started in 1993.

Sturrock’s first promotion came with his first club as a manager St Johnston where he guided them to promotion to the SPL in the 96-97 season, Following St Johnston Sturrock moved on to Dundee United and then later Plymouth Argyle, he guided the club to the English Third Division title (now renamed League Two) with a records points tally of 102 points.

Sturrock then guided Plymouth to the top of the old Division Two before departing with 12 games left in the campaign, the club won the League and gained promotion to the then renamed Championship, despite not hanging around to see them cross the line Sturrock was now a folk hero at Home Park.

After an ill fated 6 months at Southampton Sturrock again dropped down the Football Leagues to take over in charge of Sheffield Wednesday, he guided the club to the play offs which they would eventually win in the Millennium Stadium another promotion in the bag for Sturrock.

Sturrock guided Wednesday to safety in the clubs first year back in the Championship but was sacked two months into the second season due to the clubs lowly league position. As Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet had been allowed to leaveSwindonTownat a similar time it wasn’t long before Sturrock took the reigns atSwindon.

Again Sturrock led a side to promotion withSwindonmaking the jump from League Two to League One.

Sturrock left Swindon to go back to old clubPlymouthbut his spell their was unsuccessful he was removed as manager and given a business support role he would later leave this role to become Southend manager in the Summer of 2010.

In Sturrock’s first season the club had some what of a settling in season finishing 13th in League Two but this season the club have really found their feet with a blend of youth and experience with player of the calibre of former Millwall man Neil Harris.

The club are currently on an impressive run of form which has seen them remain undefeated in their last 7 games notching 19 points in the process.

If the club can keep up this kind of form they are certainties for the title in May, however it would be ridiculous to expect them to keep picking up these kind of results, Southend are clearly a good side and if anyone knows how to gain promotions from the Football Leagues its Paul Sturrock, I cant see Southend winning the league but I think they are a sure bet to reach the play offs at least, if I had to put money on it I would say they would finish third and gain automatic promotion in the process.

What are your thoughts? Can Sturrock work his magic again? Is Southend’s squad strong enough for a promotion push? What makes Sturrock such a master of promotion in Leagues One and Two? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

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