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Powell: "We have to go there and keep our run going."

8 October 2018

Chris Powell has reiterated the importance of the Checkatrade Trophy with the prize of walking out at Wembley at the end of it.

Blues travel to local rivals Colchester United on Tuesday on the back of their opening group game victory over Cambridge.

Blues will be without Jason Demetriou and Harry Kyprianou who are on international duty, while Tom Hopper and John White are sidelined with injuries.

Despite some issues to overcome surrounding the team selection, Powell will be going to the JobServe Community Stadium looking to all but clinch progression into the next round.

“We’ve got a rough idea of what we’re going to do but it has taken up most of my Sunday,” he said.

“John White and Tom Hopper both got slight hamstring injuries. They’re not as bad as we first thought. In three-game weeks, especially the input of work Tom Hopper gets through, he felt a bit of a niggle but it was more cramp, he got stamped on his ankle and he went through the wars last week, so hopefully he’ll be ok.

“John has been very good for us and I think it was the culmination of the travelling, the games and again, he didn’t want to make it worse, so he came off.

“They won’t be included for the Colchester game but I would think an outside chance for Gillingham.

“We’ve looked through a few scenarios and we’ll be ready for the game.”

Blues are unbeaten in their last four games heading into the game, whereas Colchester lost 3-1 to Stevenage at the weekend.

“They’ve done ok,” Powell said. “They have a way of running their club and producing players. They’re a category Two Academy which is quite amazing being in League Two but that’s what they’re focussed on.

“They have some experienced players at League One and Two level, but we have to go there and keep our run going.

“Most sides in the Checkatrade see this as an opportunity to play some other players that need game time because the league is most important, until they get further on.

"But I’m thinking, it’s an Essex Derby and at the end of it [the competition] there’s Wembley. That’s so powerful. If you need one thing to focus on in these games, at the end of it you could be walking out under the arch at Wembley.

“That would be great for a club like ours to progress in the competition and see how far we can get.”

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