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Sturrock set to freshen up

5 November 2012

Manager Paul Sturrock is looking forward to having some new options available to freshen up his squad for Tuesday’s trip to Bristol Rovers.

Southend United return to League Two action tomorrow following Saturday’s 3-0 FA Cup first round win against Stockport County.

And after being forced to leave some of his players out of action at Roots Hall, Sturrock hopes that rest will prove a benefit.

“Britt (Assombalonga) and Tamika (Mkandawire) are available Tuesday,” Sturrock told the official website.

“The pair of them weren’t allowed to play on Saturday in the FA Cup but I actually think that will prove a benefit to the team.

“More so for Britt who has been able to have a bit of a rest and that hopefully will mean we see him back to his best.

“And then having Tamika now means I have more options in midfield also.”

Mkandawire, who arrived on loan from Millwall for a month last week, is likely to make his debut at Bristol Rovers.

The Blues boss also has Michael Timlin, Marc Laird and Alex Woodyard to select from.

Sturrock will also be hopeful that he can call upon Ryan Cresswell, despite the centre-back temporarily losing vision in one eye after a clash of heads against Stockport.

“I’ll be giving Ryan every opportunity to be fit,” he said.

“He has a wee headache but someone like Ryan is made of hardy stuff and I’d expect him to be available.”

With Assombalonga now available, striker Barry Corr is expected to drop to the bench against Rovers.

Bristol Rovers, managed by fellow Scot Mark McGhee, have struggled so far this season.

But having won their last two league matches - Sturrock knows they remain a threat.

“They have had couple of players come back from injury and have won their last two league games,” he said.

“The boy (Tom) Eaves has given them a presence up front but we have some fresh legs to bring in also after a hectic cup tie which could give us an edge.”

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