Southend United vs Scunthorpe United
The Chris Powell-era at Roots Hall begins tomorrow afternoon as Southend United entertain Graham Alexander’s Scunthorpe United in Powell’s first game since becoming Blues boss.
Southend have yet to take to the field since Phil Brown’s departure and following last weekend’s postponement at Rochdale, Blues go into this weekend just one point above the drop zone.
While Blues look over their shoulder, the Iron have their sights firmly set on promotion and currently sit fourth in the League One standings, four points behind second-placed Blackburn.
Alexander’s side though do travel to Roots Hall with no win in their last three following draws against Portsmouth and Doncaster, as well as a home defeat to Gillingham.
Southend United: LLLLWL
Scunthorpe United: DLDWDW
23rd December 2017: Scunthorpe United (van Veen, Townsend, Turner OG) 3 vs 1 (Demetriou) Southend United
4th February 2017: Southend United (Fortune, Cox, Leonard) 3 vs 1 (Wallace) Scunthorpe United
10th September 2016: Scunthorpe United (Madden, van Veen, Morris, Smallwood) 4 vs 0 Southend United
Chris Powell will assess the fitness of Michael Turner ahead of Saturday's fixture after the centre-half limped off early during Blues’ defeat to Fleetwood a fortnight ago with a calf strain.
Anthony Wordsworth will definitely be missing with a calf problem and Josh Wright is edging closer to a return to action following a hamstring strain but is still likely to miss out, along with fellow long-term absentee Rob Kiernan.
Scunthorpe United will be without midfielder Neal Bishop after he suffered a knee injury which saw him leave on a stretcher during the midweek draw with Doncaster Rovers.
Goalkeeper Matt Gilks is closing in on a return after he resumed training following a calf injury while Andrew Crofts may also feature for the first time in almost a month after an ankle problem.
Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:
“They [Scunthorpe United] have had a sticky period the last few games, but they’ve got some power, they’ve got a certain way of playing. They have got players that know this level and know the higher level.
“They are in the play-off places, which is one day what we want to do. They’ve got a lot to aim for and a lot to gain out of the remaining games.
“What we’ve got to do is not worry about that. Not worry about what they’re about and what they do, hopefully, do what we do best and get back to that and that’s trying to win football matches.”
Graham Alexander, Scunthorpe United Manager:
“It will take him [Chris Powell] more than three or four days, but generally there’s a reaction for the first couple of games at least. We’ve already experienced that when we faced Gillingham earlier this season.
“We know they’ve got good players and Chris is a very experienced manager, especially at this level - he’s had success before. We’ll be expecting a Southend team that are right at it.
“Chris being in charge will give the fans a lift and Roots Hall is a tough place to go at any time of the season.”