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Preview: Rotherham can bring out the best in Blues says Powell

23 March 2018

Southend United manager Chris Powell hopes the visit of Rotherham United can bring out the best in his side.

The Millers travel to Roots Hall off the back of a 3-0 win over Northampton Town, their 12th win in 17 games.

However, like his side did to other Sky Bet League One sides striving for promotion, Powell says if Blues bring the right “intensity” they have a great chance to get three points.

“It’s a good game for us because we like when we play against a side from the upper reaches of the league,” Powell said. “It tends to bring out the best in us.

“Rotherham will be trying to take care of their own situation but we will be looking forward to it.

“Everyone is fit and it’s a big game that everyone wants to be involved in.

“We’ve trained well, conditions have got brighter and warmer which helps and the pitches have been good for us to get some good quality work in.

“I know it wasn’t a great game for us at their place at the New York Stadium. We’ve got to forget about that.

“We’re at Roots Hall and in the main we’ve been pretty decent at home since I’ve come in. When we’ve played Wigan, Portsmouth and Scunthorpe, all sides that are similar to Rotherham in aspiring to be in the top six, it’s gone pretty well for us.

“That’s because we’ve started at a good pace, good intensity and we have to do that again.”

Despite a close to fully fit squad, there will be at least one change to the side that drew away to Blackpool last weekend.

Jason Demetriou is on international duty with Cyprus against Montenegro on Friday afternoon, but Powell is prepared to be without his top goalscorer.

“It’s not so much a headache because I know who is going to play,” he added.

“I’ve always envisaged what would happen in international week. It’s a shame because Jason has been a key performer, he’s top goalscorer from right back which is a strange stat, but it goes to show what he is to the team and the club.

“He’s playing for his country which is a great lift for any player and it creates an opportunity for someone to come in and show what they can do.”

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