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INTERVIEW: Dom Hyam Refuses To Underestimate Southend

The defender was satisfied with Portsmouth win on Tuesday night...

14 February 2020

Dom Hyam is refusing to “underestimate” the threat posed by Southend United when the Sky Blues travel to Roots Hall on Saturday afternoon.

City are unbeaten in their last nine Sky Bet League One matches and will be looking to extend that run this weekend.

The Sky Blues are taking on a Southend side who sit 22nd in the League One table and are 13 points adrift from safety.

However, despite City boasting a much better position in the table, Hyam is expecting Southend to fight for the three points in their battle to avoid relegation.

Hyam said: “We can’t underestimate them, they’ve still got good players and they’ll be fighting just like any other team, we have to treat them with respect and earn the points.

“We might have to be more compact, playing away from home, but we still have to try and impose our game on them and try and hurt them the way that we can.

“You can’t really help but feel we’re on a good run at the moment, we’re trying to take each game as it comes, and we’ll try and continue that tomorrow against Southend.

“You can’t help but think we’re doing well and talking about automatic promotion is the type of pressure you’re going to have to deal with if you want to be a good team.

“We have to focus on ourselves and not worry about what other teams are doing around us.”

The defender was impressed with City’s display against in-form Portsmouth on Tuesday night and stressed the importance of the three points earned from the fixture.

“It was a really satisfying win, we were talking about it in the dressing room afterwards, we knew how big that game was and how important the three points were.

“They put a lot of balls in the channels and tested us defensively, but I think we did well and stood up to what they had and as a defensive unit we’re really proud of what we did on Tuesday night.

“We looked at their set-pieces and knew we had to be on it, if we were going to keep them out from set-pieces, that’s the way they score quite a lot of their goals and we dealt with pretty much all of their set-pieces quite well.

“We want to stay solid with that and try and keep them out and hopefully if teams are going to score against us, they’re going to have to work for it.”

City recorded their 10th clean sheet in the league on Tuesday night and Hyam believes playing with three centre-backs is paying dividends.

“It’s working well, we’ve got quite a good record all playing together, long may that continue now, as long as we’re all fit and playing well.

“It’s a bit of a different role, you have to push out a bit wider than you normally would and generally keep it a bit tighter when you haven’t got the ball.

“It’s good to have that extra defensive cover, you’ve got two extra centre-halves with you who are also defensive minded, it’s just a little bit of a change of shape and we’ve all adapted quite well.

“We’ve needed Marko there for sure, definitely in the Bolton game he made two or three really good saves and again on Tuesday night as well, it just shows we’ve got that security behind us if we do need him and it’s a great feeling to have.”

The 24-year-old was patient for his chance in the first team, having been in and out of the squad during his first season with the club, and now believes that his hard work is being rewarded with game time.

“I’m loving it! I’ve played a lot of games, kept quite a few clean sheets and all the centre-backs are playing together, none of us are unhappy at the moment which is a good thing.

“The first year I was in and out quite a lot and didn’t play that many games and it just shows if you keep at it and work hard, and more importantly keep patient, the opportunity will come, it’s just about taking it when you get it.”

He also spoke about his desire to improve his game and feels that experience and game time have helped speed up his development as a player.

“It just comes with experience and game time, game time is something you can’t really replace, you can train as much as you like, but you fall back on experiences that you’ve had and big games that you’ve played in and it makes you a better player.

“I still need to work on my left foot, I’ve been playing that left-sided role and it could still definitely improve and just generally sharpening up when playing out from the back and trying to build attacks.”

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