Gillingham vs Southend United
Blues travel to Gillingham’s MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon for the first of two meetings between the two sides in a matter of days.
Both teams will face each other again at Priestfield next Tuesday when they meet in the Checkatrade Trophy, but before then vital league points are at stake.
The Gills haven’t lost to Southend in their last eight meetings and will hope that that record continues as they await their first win of the season following two defeats and a draw so far.
Phil Brown, on the other hand, will be hoping to end a run of three straight defeats to Gillingham as he looks for his side to build on last weekend’s draw against Plymouth Argyle.
Southend United: DLLWWL
Last Three Encounters
25th February 2017: Gillingham (Wright 2) 2 vs 1 (Ranger) Southend United
9th August 2016: Southend United (McLaughlin) 1 vs 3 (McDonald, Emmanuel Thomas 2) Gillingham
6th August 2016: Southend United (McLaughlin) 1 vs 3 (Emmanuel Thomas, Ehmer, Osadebe) Gillingham
Blues defender Rob Kiernan has been ruled out for a couple of weeks having missed last weekend's draw against Plymouth with a knee injury.
Although his injury is not as serious as first thought, Kiernan joins fellow defenders Ben Coker and Michael Turner on the sidelines with midfielder Anthony Wordsworth nearing a return.
Former Blues player Luke O’Neill is in line to face his former side for the first time since departing in the summer whilst recent signings Steve Arnold and Ben Nugent contest for their first starts.
Midfielder Billy Bingham and defender Aaron Morris are both nearing returns from injuries for the Gills, although tomorrow may come too soon for both.
Phil Brown, Southend United Manager;
“We’ve steadied the ship after Rotherham and now we’re going into a derby game at Gillingham.
“They are one of those teams where when we go there we seem to notoriously fold in the squad.
“There’s been three of four times I can categorically state that we should have won, including last season when we went down to ten-men.
“We need to go out there and put the fear of God into them from the first minute. It’s important to me that we get back to winning ways like the first game of the season and move on from there.”
Ady Pennock, Gillingham Manager;
“We want to win, performances have been good and I have been pleased with them and the improvement we have had.
“We haven’t had the rub of the green with the referees. I had an email from Trevor Kettle, the referee last Saturday, apologising but it’s a bit late really. It doesn’t help.
“We want to get a win as soon as we can and we are not too far away. We are solid, strong and still creating chances. I have got belief in the players.”