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O'Keefe: Strong Squad Keeps You On Your Toes

Midfielder prepares to face his former club

17 November 2017

Stuart O

Stuart O’Keefe was left with a rare Saturday off last weekend.

The midfielder missed the victory over Blackpool through suspension having collected five yellow cards.

And with the team ending their losing run at Bloomfield Road, an immediate return to the side is not guaranteed.

O’Keefe understands that he might have to bide his time, but knows that everyone will be needed during a gruelling campaign.

The 26-year-old said: “It’s frustrating because you always want to be involved.

“That’s part and parcel of being a footballer and we have a squad for that very reason. Those boys who came in did very well.

"A break can help because it keeps you fresh after a long run of games and it does keep you on your toes."

Stuart O'Keefe

“But it’s a very long season and there will be a lot of twists and turns, ins and outs over the course of it.

“A break can help because it keeps you fresh after a long run of games and it does keep you on your toes.

“I suppose it was nice to have a weekend off and I was following the game on my phone. I looked at it and we were winning 1-0, then suddenly it was 3-2.

“It was a manic last few minutes, but the boys dug in and got the result we needed against a really tough side.”

O’Keefe turned professional with Southend and made 13 appearances for them before signing for Crystal Palace.

He said: “I loved my time there. I arrived having just been released by Ipswich and suddenly had a new lease of life.

“They were really good to me and I still live in the area. I have a lot of friends there, so it will be enjoyable for them to come here on Saturday.

“When I first went there Southend were in the Championship and had that famous cup win against Manchester United.

“They’ve had a couple of bad years since then, but are steady now and have found their feet with an experienced manager and group of players.”

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