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Team news: Powell assesses the squad ahead of Latics

8 February 2018

John White, who has been sidelined for six weeks with an ankle injury, is going to be a ‘big miss’ to Blues according Chris Powell.

Scan results revealed White will be missing for six weeks after attempting to stop Jack Marriott in his tracks in last weekend’s game 1-0 win over Peterborough.

And Powell has been impressed with White, who has made 27 appearances so far this season, in his first two weeks in charge and will miss his presence.

“He’s a player who I think is quite key to us moving forward,” said Powell.

“He’s very level headed, he’s a good trainer and he’s made a real impression on me since I’ve been here.

“We’ll miss him because he makes good decisions regularly. As a defender that’s what you want and as a manager you want defenders you trust. It’s a big word because defenders have to be the ones that clear up the mess as such and snuff out the danger of the opposition’s forwards.

“John’s a big miss, but in saying that I thought Anton [Ferdinand] came in and did particularly well alongside Michael Turner.

“They will have to use their experience and know how with regards to the team’s we face.

“Hopefully John is a quick healer and will be back sooner rather than later.”

With White being unavailable for Saturday, Powell doesn’t expect to have anyone coming out of the treatment room and back into the squad.

“They’re working hard; Josh Wright, Sam Mantom, who we knew would be a couple of weeks away but felt we needed to bring in a new player to boost that area.

"He won't be ready for Saturday and if not Saturday that means not Tuesday, so the very earliest would be the third game against Portsmouth. We always knew it would be then anyway, but we're not going to rush him.

“There’s no-one really coming back. We need to make sure we nurse a few of the players through the bumps and bruises they already have and it will be nice to welcome back some of those players, but we’ve got some young players.

“Young Elvis [Bwomono] at right back was 19th man last week. He’s already played this year and I have no qualms with putting players like him and Michael Klass in. I’m playing Dru Yearwood who’s 17.

“They’re here, they’re part of Southend United and if I have to put them in, I need to make sure I give them the confidence and backing from me and my staff to put them in a position that they can display to everyone exactly what they’re about.” 

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