Chris Powell: Southend United appoint former Charlton boss as manager

Chris Powell
Chris Powell worked as assistant to Nigel Pearson and Steve McClaren at Derby

Former Southend United player Chris Powell has been appointed as the new manager of the League One side on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

He replaces Phil Brown, who was put on gardening leave on Wednesday after seven league defeats in eight games.

Ex-Charlton defender and boss Powell, 48, made 290 appearances for the Shrimpers between 1990 and 1996.

Southend are 20th and only one point above the drop zone after their game at Rochdale on Saturday was postponed.

"Southend gave me my platform to have my career, that's why I've always had an affection for the club," Powell told BBC Essex.

"As I was driving down today, it all came flooding back, but that's not the reason why I came.

"The reason why I came is because I like managing at this level, I've been a success at this level and I'd like to do that again."

Powell, capped five times by England, played for eight clubs in all, including Derby - with whom he had his most recent coaching role as assistant to Steve McClaren - before leaving in March.

He also spent just over a year in charge of Huddersfield in the Championship, but was sacked in November 2015.

Ethnic minority managers in English football

Earlier this month the Football Association said it will interview at least one applicant from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background for future roles in the England set-up.

It comes after a sports think tank reported in November that coaches from black or ethnic minority backgrounds still face "institutionally embedded barriers" in English football.

The appointment of Powell raises the number of BAME managers in the top four divisions to six.

  • Chris Hughton - Brighton & Hove Albion (Premier League)
  • Nuno Espirito Santo - Wolverhampton Wanderers (Championship)
  • Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - Northampton Town (League One)
  • Keith Curle - Carlisle United (League Two)
  • Jack Lester - Chesterfield (League Two)
Chris Powell
Powell made 667 club appearances in a career spanning more than 20 years

Analysis

Glenn Speller, BBC Essex sports producer

This move will be a popular one with the Southend fans, who hold Powell in high regard from his time as a player at Roots Hall.

But previous as a player won't help Powell when assessing the situation at a club.

Seven defeats in eight League One matches have dropped the Blues perilously close to the relegation zone, when a promotion challenge was expected.

The new manager also needs new recruits, with a striker and a centre-half the priority, but there are only eight days left of the transfer window.

These are eight days which will make or break Southend's season and, possibly, Powell's reign.

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