Chris Powell is calling on his team to “go for it” in the Emirates FA Cup this weekend.
Southend are in the Second Round of the competition for the first time in five years, and Barnsley stand between them and a spot in Monday night’s Third Round draw.
With the squad stretched due to injuries and an ongoing busy schedule of fixtures, Powell will be sending his side out in a positive mind-frame to try and achieve a place amongst the Premier League and Championship sides who enter at the next stage.
“We’re going to have to [go toe-to-toe with Barnsley],” he said. “I’m sure they, as much as us, would not want a replay. That’s the last thing we need with fixture congestion. If that happens, it happens.
“I just want us to go for it. We haven’t been in the Second Round for a long time. It would be great for us to get to the Third Round because you just never know what can happen.
“But we’ve got a tough draw, there’s no doubt about it.
“We’re at home, but actually in the cup it doesn’t matter. Whether they make changes, it’s irrelevant.
“We’re going to have to be on our guard, because they’re a decent attacking side, and we have to be positive and go for it.
“It’s the Second Round of the cup and we want to really put it to them and dig deep. Training now has been really tapered down because we want the boys to be as fully energised as they can be. I can’t make loads of changes because we had 18 on duty on Tuesday and I would expect to take Jason Demetriou out of that, but Michael Turner is now available.
“If I can maybe put one or two of the U23s in alongside the ones that are already in, I will do.
“It’s all hands to the pump and we just have to do our best to compete.”
Jason Demetriou had a scan on his knee on Thursday and although he's unlikely to play a part on Saturday, it’s still unknown the extent of the right-back’s injury.
“He’s being scanned today (Thursday),” Powell added. “I don’t really know what to say because it’s on the knee he’s had an issue with a while back, and as everyone has seen he’s been fighting fit for a long time.
“He came off straight away which was good but who knows what’s going to turn up. I loathe to guess, because I’ve guessed wrong with every single one [of the injuries Blues have sustained this season].