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Penney: John White back available

30 January 2014

Skipper has recovered from shoulder injury and could make his return against Newport County AFC

Southend United assistant manager Dave Penney has revealed John White is fit and available for selection for Friday’s game against Newport County.

White has been out of the side after missing four games with a shoulder injury, but could return after visiting a specialist on Monday.

Penney says White will be a big boost to Blues’ defensive line, having had just four fit defenders on Tuesday at Dagenham & Redbridge.

He said: “It’s a massive boost to have John back available, not mainly because he is our captain and a real leader.

“He’s done everything we could’ve asked for since he was named captain in the summer.

“It’s not only that though, because John can play in three different positions across the back four.

“He’s more than capable at right-back, left-back or in the middle of the back four.

“Having had just four defenders available for Tuesday, it’s a welcome return of an important player for us.”

Penney also added that Luke O’Neill is likely to miss Friday, but could well be back for the trip to Mansfield.

Penney added: “Luke is still a little way off with a thigh injury but should be back for Mansfield.

“That will mean we have six available defenders so we’re pleased with that.

“Paul had a back spasm in training on Monday so missed Tuesday but should be back involved on Friday.

“He’s probably the best number two in the division so it’s great to have him back available should anything happen to Dan Bentley.

“On Tuesday we had an 18-year-old on the bench, a 20-year-old starting and a 19-year-old involved in the warm up.

“The future of goalkeeping is very bright here and Paul plays a massive role helping these players develop.”

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