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Match Preview: Chris Powell on the upcoming Portsmouth game

7 December 2018

Chris Powell’s side won’t have much time to reflect on their Checkatrade Trophy win over Luton Town on Wednesday with a third game in a week seeing Blues travel to Portsmouth...

The Southend boss knows of the challenges that his side will face when they take on Pompey, but he believes that the crowd and their top of the table form can boost Blues and give them that energy that they will need to get the result over the line.  

On facing Portsmouth 

“We are going to go their (Fratton Park) and be prepared on what to expect, on what we can hopefully do against them and how we deal with certain situations. 

“We know they are league leaders, they have good players at this level in key areas, but we’ve got to be up for it and ready for the battle. We’ve faced Barnsley and Luton this week and we end it with a trip to the league leaders which is always a tough place to go with their fans, regardless of what's going on they will ring their bells and sing their songs and we’ve got to be ready to stand up for ourselves and be brave enough to play our football in the right areas. 

“We need to be better in the final third, because we build up well but it's just that final bit that let's us down, so if we can do that then we have a real chance, because we know our chances will be at a premium, it will be tough, but I know we can summon up some energy because Barnsley and Luton have been real tests for us physically, but we will go there and do our absolute best to come home with a victory.” 

On their strong home support 

“As a player, I think you should embrace going to places where the fans are trying to put you off. 

“When their team getscorner, they put you under pressure, but that’s why you're in the game for, you want to show people that you can get through that and actually group the other end and be positive, be creative and take chances.  

“We’ve been to Sunderland and I know the final result wasn't to our liking, but we went there and really put them on the back foot, and we have to be of a similar ilk, a similar stature and imposeourselves as much as we can down in the South coast.” 

An injury update 

“Simon Cox, Timothée Dieng and Harry Bunn were rested on Wednesday, they’ve got knocks and would have been 50/50 for the Luton game and I’d rather give some other players a go. 

“We went there (Luton) strong enough with the 11 and the 18 so hopefully they will be in contention on Saturday. 

“Tim has given us a lot physically lately and having a rest won’t do him no harm. 

“ Cox took a heavy whack against Barnsley and eventually we took him off and he hasn’t trained since so hopefully they’ve had enough treatment and enough rest now to be ready for Portsmouth.”

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