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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: SOUTHEND VS BOLTON

19 February 2021

Southend United vs Bolton Wanderers...

Overview

Southend United return to Roots Hall for the first time in over three weeks as they welcome in-form Bolton Wanderers to Essex tomorrow afternoon in League Two.

Confidence will be high in the Blues camp thanks to a recent upturn in form which saw Mark Molesley’s side climb out of the relegation zone last weekend for the first time since October.

Those performances and back-to-back clean sheets against two promotion-chasing sides should give Southend a huge shot in the arm ahead of another tough clash against Ian Evatt’s Wanderers.

Form

Blues impressed last time out in a 0-0 draw away at the League Two leaders Cambridge United, with the point enough to see Southend climb out of the bottom two.

That draw against the U’s came right off the back of a hard-fought 1-0 win away at Newport which ended a four-game winless run for Mark Molesley’s side.

Bolton have lost just one of their last six matches and are unbeaten in their last four with wins against Mansfield, Stevenage and Leyton Orient seeing them climb into the top half of the table.

Last Meeting

Saturday 28th November 2020

Bolton Wanderers 3-0 Southend United

Nathan Delfouneso 45’, Doyle (p)65’, 81

Bolton handed Blues a comfortable 3-0 defeat the last time these two sides met back in November with a second-half brace from striker Eoin Doyle sealing the victory for the Trotters.

Southend were undone right on half-time as Nathan Delfouneso headed the home side in front before Doyle grabbed two, one from the spot and one from close range late on.   

From The Boss

"We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us and some tough games coming up.

"But we can be buoyed by the attitude, mentality and resilience the boys have shown to bounce back from a tough time for us. That two weeks was probably the toughest time for us that we’d felt during our campaign.

"We had to get back up and fight again, and the boys have shown that resilience throughout the season. Whatever has been thrown at them, they’ve come back out fighting. When people started to write us off, we’ve always come back out.

"I always say it, all we’ve done is got ourselves off the canvas and back in the fight. We can’t keep getting knocked down. We’ve got to keep stepping forward, put a run together and a combination of results together to really start putting the pressure on other teams around us.

"The last couple of games we’ve shown the right credentials, but we’re also haunted by the previous results before that.

"Football serves a quick reminder if you ever get too far ahead of yourself.

"We have a mammoth game in front of us. Bolton Wanderers; what a big Football Club that is.

"Another manager [Ian Evatt] who has done very well and plays a very distinct style of football. It’s another tough challenge.”

Blues Team News

The signings of both midfielder Ricky Holmes and striker Nile Ranger yesterday have given boss Mark Molesley some added options ahead of the visit of Bolton tomorrow.

Ranger, though, is unlikely to feature as he continues his recovery from a slight calf problem, but Holmes is fit and available for selection and will be pushing for a debut appearance.

Simeon Akinola is also fit after being forced off with concussion late into the draw with Cambridge last weekend, with the striker passing all the necessary concussion protocols.

Midfielder Alan McCormack is back available after playing 45 minutes in a behind-closed-doors game in the week which also featured Jacob Mellis, who’s back after illness.

Wingers Terrell Egbri and James Olayinka are both closing in on a return from hamstring and ankle injuries respectively, but neither are likely to feature on Saturday.

Bolton Dangerman

Tomorrow’s visitors have plenty of attacking threats, but one that may fly under the radar is wing-back Declan John who is so far enjoying his time with the Trotters on loan from Swansea.

The 25-year-old Wales international joined in January and has made an immediate impact, scoring the winner against Stevenage and scoring the first goal in Bolton’s comeback win at Mansfield.

John primarily plays out on the left with his pace, quality and finishing ability adding to Bolton’s already bloated attacking threat, and he’ll be one to look out for tomorrow afternoon.  

Ref Watch

Declan Bourne will be the man in charge at Roots Hall on Saturday, being assisted by Paul Lister and Paul Kelly, while Anthony Da Costa sits in as the fourth official.

Bourne has overseen 20 matches so far this season, showing 56 yellow cards and no reds to date, with his last appointment being the 1-0 win for MK Dons at Hull last weekend.

Saturday will be Bourne’s second Southend game of the season having already officiated Blues’ 0-0 draw away at Stevenage back in December.

iFollow Blues

With fans not able to attend Roots Hall in person, Blues supporters can watch tomorrow’s game with Bolton by picking up a Match Pass on iFollow Blues for £10.

A Match Pass will allow you to watch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device with Season Ticket holders already having access to their pass via their iFollow account.

For more information on how you can get your Match Pass and ensure you miss none of the action at Roots Hall on iFollow Blues, click here.


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