Sturrock lauds hat-trick hero

PA Sport

Southend manager Paul Sturrock heaped praise on Bilel Mohsni after the Frenchman netted a hat-trick in his side's 3-0 win over Barnet.

Mohsni scored three times in the opening 32 minutes at Roots Hall and that delighted Sturrock, whose side are now guaranteed at least a place in the play-offs.

"That's the Bilel we want to be playing for this football club," he said. "We don't want the one who loses his temper but he's done well with that recently and that's with him playing in an alien position.

"He did very well in the first half and it was an impressive display from the whole team.

"The second half was a non-event really but we remained disciplined and professional to get the win we needed to make sure of a place in the play-offs. I think that's an achievement which the team deserve praise for because we've really improved on our points tally from last season.

"It would be exciting if the gap could be closed to three points but we're playing well again now, we're keeping clean sheets and we've won three in a row at home so I'm pleased."

But Barnet boss Martin Allen was less satisfied after his side were easily beaten in his first game back in charge of the club. Allen replaced Lawrie Sanchez in the Underhill hot-seat in the build up to the game but could not lead the struggling Bees back to winning ways.

"I was shocked and surprised with our first half display after the way we had performed in training this week but we are a young team and we got caught out in the opening stages," he said.

"There were stages of that first half where Southend totally out run us, out powered us and outperformed us which was disappointing to see.

"In the second half we got the ball down and played football which was pleasing to see and we will build from that but it was too late after the opening 45 minutes. I feel for the fans this evening that pay good money to watch us play football and I am very grateful for them staying until the end and continuing to support the team."

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