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Page last updated at 18:02 GMT, Thursday, 3 February 2011

Southend United's Bilel Mohsni find 'fortunate'

Bilel Mohsni
Mohsni has been used as a makeshift striker this season

Southend United boss Paul Sturrock has admitted it required a stroke of luck to unveil defender Bilel Mohsni.

The 23-year-old was playing amateur football up until Sturrock received a tip-off from a "friend of a friend" about the Tunisian's talents.

And since joining the Shrimpers he has gone on to make 22 appearances, scoring five goals.

"We've been very, very fortunate Bilel has fallen on our doorstep," Sturrock told BBC Essex.

And the Southend boss confirmed the club had rejected "verbal offers" from numerous clubs for the former French league player in January.

"The fans love him, the players love him and that's infectious when he's on a football pitch," he added.

"Him coming back in has been one of the main reasons for us winning football games.

"We had an open door game here for foreign players and he was the one we picked out.

"He came from an amateur team, one of those kind of amateur games you have on a Saturday morning with your mates."

Sturrock will be hoping he can unearth similar hidden talents when he scours the loan market when it opens next week, after failing to find any new players in the January transfer window.

"There was nobody there that really smacked me in the face," he said.

"But again if certain people aren't available I won't go into the market.

"I rushed in early in the season, I'd say several of our loan players were competent and it's important I get a couple of them right."

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see also
Southend confirm Mohsni interest
01 Feb 11 |  Southend
Mohsni happy to 'play anywhere'
26 Jan 11 |  Southend
Southend pair registered to play
18 Aug 10 |  Southend

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