Francis on Tranmere Rovers
Just in case we forget there's a match on Saturday, Blues full back Simon Francis has played for both clubs and looks back and ahead to Tranmere Rovers. Simon Francis may have been surprised to see Les Parry turn from physiotherapist to manager at Tranmere Rovers. But he is not shocked that Parry has turned around the team's fortunes. Back in November, the Merseysiders were rooted to the bottom of the table but they are now just two points from safety. And Francis, who spent three months on loan at Prenton Park during the 2005/06 season, is sure Tranmere can avoid being relegated this season. Simon told www.echo-news.co.uk: "When I was at Tranmere Les was the physio and I was a little surprised when he became the manager but he's a great character. He's a top man and always has a smile on his face. Everyone at the club likes him and would want to play for him so I'm sure that's why he's doing well. I really do wish them all the best because I would love to see Les be a success, but only after tomorrow's game of course!" Parry follows in the foot-steps of Scunthorpe United's Nigel Adkins in swapping physiotherapy for management. But Francis cannot see Southend's medical chief John Stannard adding to the list. "It would be fun if Stanners was to have a go. However, I doubt he would be as laid back as Les is about it all." Under Parry, Tranmere has lost just one of their last four matches and will provide a tough test for the Shrimpers tomorrow. But, with Blues being dragged down towards the relegation zone themselves, Francis is desperate to secure all three points. "The gap between ourselves and Tranmere is quite small now and we want to make it bigger," said the defender. We have been playing quite well but we need to start turning performances into points and be more clinical in front of goal when chances come our way."
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