Southend United vs Oldham Athletic...
Following back-to-back away trips, Blues are back home this evening for the first of two successive home games as they entertain Oldham Athletic at Roots Hall (7.00pm KO).
Mark Molesley’s side came back empty-handed after defeats to Salford and Tranmere and will hope that under the lights in Essex that their fortunes will change with a first league win.
In their way are an Oldham side who too lost at the weekend and will be without their manager, Harry Kewell, in the dugout as he continues to self-isolate after testing positive for Coronavirus.
Blues currently sit bottom of the table in League Two after picking up just two points from their eight games so far thanks to draws against Crawley and Exeter.
Last weekend saw Southend lose 2-0 to Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park despite dominating for large periods, having fallen to a 3-0 defeat to Salford City on the road last week.
Oldham come into tonight three points clear of Southend and just a point outside the relegation zone, with The Latics picking up one win and two draws from their last six league games.
Tuesday 24th April 2018
Oldham Athletic 0-3 Southend United
Robinson 5’, Cox 52’, 56’
Southend put Oldham to the sword the last time these two sides met in 2018 as Blues picked up a 3-0 win at Boundary Park to edge The Latics closer to relegation from League One.
Theo Robinson opened the scoring after just five minutes tapping in from close range before a quick-fire double from Simon Cox in the second-half secured all three points for Blues.
From The Boss
"The next game is always the most important game.
"We're well aware of the task at hand and another tough challenge awaits but one we can't wait to tackle, especially after the disappointment of Saturday, we can't wait to get back out there to try and get that elusive win.
"Ultimately, the aim of football is about what you do in both penalty boxes and we know we have to sharpen up at both ends, we'll certainly be looking to do that, but on the whole Saturday was a positive performance and I'm sure if we perform to that level and sharpen up in both boxes those wins aren't far away.
"We created a lot more chances, had a lot of the ball and used it well and unfortunately couldn't find that breakthrough, and goals do change games.
"One was a set play against the run of play and the other was a cruel deflection. At the moment those things are going against us but as I’ve said all along, we’ll never feel sorry for ourselves.
"We need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and come out fighting."
Blues Team News
Speaking after the defeat to Tranmere on Saturday, Molesley didn’t expect there to be any returning faces available for tonight’s visit of Oldham.
John White has returned to training and has taken part in a light session but is highly unlikely to feature, while Molesley is hopeful that Simeon Akinola will join in with training later this week.
Alan McCormack is edging closer to a return, while Nathan Ralph is waiting on a scan this week to find out the extent of his knee injury picked up against Salford, ruling him out of tonight's game.
Only one person we could possibly choose as dangerman tonight and that is Oldham striker Conor McAleny who already has eight goals to his name so far this season.
McAleny joined Oldham in the summer from Fleetwood and immediately found his shooting boots with goals against Carlisle, Crawley, Colchester, Morecambe, and Wolves u21s.
The 28-year-old though is going through a bit of a dry spell with no goal in his last three, but having scored eight in his first eight appearances this season, he is undoubtedly going to be a huge threat.
Christopher Sarginson will be the man in charge this evening at Roots Hall, being assisted by Gregory Read and Adrian Tranter, while David Rock comes in as the fourth official.
Sarginson has been refereeing in the Football League for 12 years now and so far this season has taken charge of seven matches, issuing 19 yellow cards and one red.
The last time the Staffordshire ref officiated Blues was in last season’s Carabao Cup where he oversaw Southend 2-1 win against Stevenage back in August 2019.
With fans still unable to attend matches in person, Blues fans can watch tonight’s clash with Oldham by picking up a Match Pass for iFollow Blues for £10.
The Match Pass allows you to view the game on your laptop, computer, tablet, or mobile device, and Season Card holders have been sent their unique access codes.