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BLUES BOSS TO MAKE LATE FITNESS CHECKS AHEAD OF ORIENT

28 December 2020

Southend United manager Mark Molesley will make late calls on Alan McCormack, Tom Clifford, James Olayinka and Simeon Akinola’s fitness ahead of tomorrow’s game against Leyton Orient.

Akinola, who scored his first goal for the club on Boxing Day against Colchester United, had to come off in the 73rd minute.

Meanwhile, McCormack, Clifford and Olayinka all missed the game with knocks.

And Mark Molesley said every player in the squad will have to be ready to step up, as shown on Saturday against Colchester.

“With quick turnarounds we always take a lot of late calls on players and that will certainly be the case on Tuesday.

“Everyone has been in today and we’ve managed to do a bit of work with everyone in some shape or form.

"We’re preparing the best we can and we’ll see probably tomorrow, to give everyone another 24 hours to see how they feel.

“We’ve got three games in a week with Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday and we’ll need to put our best foot forward and play the best team we can, but also try and make sure we don’t damage anyone and we deliver all the players as fit as they can be for that game.

“That means shuffling the squad sometimes, it means taking a risk with one person which we might not be able to do with another. It’s a balancing act of trying to get the best team on the pitch, but also the best team on that pitch consistently."

Molesley said it's pleasing that he now has options available with a bigger squad and also some U23s who have stepped up, the latest being Rob Howard in the last two games.

And it’s about every player being ready to play a part when needed.

“Everyone's got their part to play, and sometimes it’s coming off the bench, other times it’s starting and coming off, sometimes it’s resting down for a game to make sure you’re ready for the next one.

“One thing we have got now is a really competitive squad and every single player is valuable.

“That just shows when one person drops out, the next is ready to pick up the baton and carry on in a strong manner.

“We’re very much a squad. It’s not just the team that starts it’s the team that finishes. 

“It’s also the group who maybe don’t get on, how they support it in training and how they keep the standards high and are ready to drop in as well.

“We’ve used a lot of players, that’s for sure, and this Covid season means that teams are having to dig deep into their resources and having a depth of the squad isn’t something we’ve had the luxury of until now.”

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