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Powell hoping to mark birthday with three points

6 September 2018

Southend United boss Chris Powell will be hoping to celebrate his 49th birthday on Saturday with three points over Peterborough United.

The Sky Bet League One table-toppers are in town for Blues’ third straight home game.

And Powell says three points against Steve Evans’ side will be the perfect way to mark his birthday.

“I’m too old for all the celebrations – everyone keeps saying to me next year is the big one, but it’s life,” Powell said.

“It will be the start of my 50th year and what better way to start it off than getting a win on Saturday.”

Posh had won five straight games prior to former boss Grant McCann and his Doncaster Rovers side took a point off them last weekend.

Evans has had the luxury of fielding six unchanged sides so far – something Powell has been ill-afforded.

But Blues could have a couple of players returning to the fold.

“We’ve had a number of injured players that are making their way back but whether they will be ready for Saturday we will have to wait and see,” Powell added.

“Sometimes in adversity you look at some players who will just play with a bit of freedom. People like Taylor Moore, Michael Klass and Renei Batlokwa, they played with a bit of freedom on Tuesday.

“I’ll have the head count as always on Friday and make sure that we’re strong enough to play against what is a good side at this present time.

“They’re sitting right where they want to be and we’re going to have to deal with that.”

Despite facing one of the country’s in-form sides, Powell believes Blues should embrace the challenge, especially at Roots Hall.

“We always look at ways to try and win a game. We’ll have to look at some strengths that they have, which they undoubtedly do have.

“It’s about is trying to create chances, score those chances and win a football match.

“We want to get a result, but we’ve been very up and down. We’ve had good performances and haven’t got a result and then we’ve had a real resilient on the road. We’ve had a comfortable home win against Bradford, but you just want to get going.

“We’re better than what we have accumulated points wise, that’s for sure. We’ll take the next game on its merits. The target is three points and that’s what we want to achieve.”

Blues will of course be without Mark Oxley and Michael Kightly, and Powell has the utmost confidence in young stopper Nathan Bishop should he be in goal on Saturday.

“It’s an area that we’re well aware of but let me tell you one thing. If Nathan Bishop is in goal for us on Saturday would I be confident? 100 per cent.

“There’s a young goalkeeper who is a real talent. He acquitted himself really well on Saturday and like any goalkeeper, he was disappointed he conceded a goal but I thought it handling and saving at key times was very good.

“His kicking improved over the game, so I have no qualms in playing him on Saturday.”

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