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Powell: “We’ve got a number of games coming up and we’ve got to balance it."

13 November 2018

Chris Powell’s Blues squad take on Southampton U21’s in the final group stage of the Checkatrade Trophy as they look to progress through to the next round of the competition.

In recent weeks the squad have been plagued with injuries to Harry Lennon, Ben Coker and leading goal scorer Tom Hopper, all of whom are recovering from long-term problems. 

With the games clocking up, it's going to be testing times for Southend as they come up against five different opposition in the space of 14 days. 

However, the Blues boss is going in search of some momentum and to do so will be fielding a strong side on Wednesday night.

“The next few games will certainly test our powers of recovery and endurance, but we have more than enough in the tank to deal with it. 

“No doubt we will have to be very careful with one or two individuals, but our recovery strategies are good. Our medical and strength and conditioning team are very good at how much training the players need to do, because the games are coming thick and fast.

“Having so many games is good and we hope it’s good being that it’s a means to an end and what I mean by that is one is a cup replay and one's a Checkatrade Trophy and obviously if we win both we add two more games at the beginning of December. In that is another league game against Scunthorpe as well as the upcoming Saturday games. 

“We’ve got a number of games coming up and we’ve got to balance it, utilise the squad, bring in some young players - the ones we feel are up to it - but we are going to have to, there’s no getting around it. We'll get on with it and do our best to start winning games.

“We’re playing Southampton U21’s tomorrow and we’ve done the preparations as we always do like everything other game. We will have a team that we feel will go out and win it for us. 

“The other cup game is on Tuesday night but regardless of what happens in that we're going to have to win and do our best in this competition and get into the top two of the group.” 

Wednesday’s cup game is an interesting fixture and it all comes down to tonight’s other group game between Cambridge and Colchester.

Whoever wins the game (which will be decided in 90 minutes or a penalty shootout) will top the group for the time being and depending on the result could leave the opportunity open for Blues to swoop in and steal the top spot, or second, and go into the next round. 

Powell added: “We need to keep our season alive, we need to keep it going and we’ve had very mixed form in the league. 

“I want us to start winning again because we’ve done it before, but we’ve been very up and down for a whole host of reasons.

“We’ve got to deal with it and we're no different to any other football club who have to contend with injuries, contend with loss of form, not doing the right things or maybe, as we did on Saturday, be out of sight and not even give the opposition a sniff. 

“The thing is we never finished them (Crawley Town) and we’ve got to keep creating chances. It’s when they aren’t creating those chances that you worry. 

“We have to find ways of winning, find ways of stopping the opposition, being defensively assured and compact and also still play the way we do at the start of each game."

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