Southend United vs Walsall...
Blues are back at Roots Hall tomorrow afternoon as they look to complete a first league double of the season as they entertain Walsall in League Two.
Southend’s very first victory of the season came on the road against the Saddlers and Blues will be hoping they can repeat that positive result after a tough few weeks for Mark Molesley’s side.
And with away trips to come against high-flying Newport and Cambridge, it makes the three points on offer tomorrow against the Saddlers even more imperative.
Last weekend’s defeat to Port Vale was described the ‘lowest point’ of Mark Molesley’s tenure at Southend and meant Blues have not won any of their last five matches.
Their last win came against Barrow at the start of January, with Southend since drawing with Grimsby and suffering defeats to Cambridge, Mansfield, Bradford and Port Vale.
Walsall have steadied the ship after three defeats in a row between Boxing Day and New Year, the Saddlers come into Saturday unbeaten in three including a win against Port Vale last time out.
Saturday 14th November 2020
Walsall 0-1 Southend United
Bates Sent Off 90’; Acquah 88’
Emile Acquah’s late strike earnt Blues their first win of the season in dramatic circumstances the last time these two sides came head-to-head back in November.
Just minutes after Elijah Adebayo had skied a penalty up the other end, substitute Acquah came up with the winner, scoring on the turn with two minutes remaining to snatch the points.
From The Boss
"After last Saturday you just want to get that out your mind as quickly as you can. You want to get out and put that right.
"Having said that, some of the ingredients to cause that, although we'll never look for excuses, was that last two weeks where we were almost at breaking point a little bit at times.
"That showed with the injuries sustained and the players that played through the pain barrier. I think the physicality caused a big problem in the last two weeks so to be able to take a clear week and rest a few people up and get a few people back is what we needed.
"We've got to make sure we use this week to the best of our advantage and come back out fighting.
“We’ve got to show a reaction. There was unacceptable things and we fell below the standards that we set [last weekend], and like I said we’ll find out as a group this Saturday just how much that hurt.”
Blues Team News
Southend have a plethora of injury concerns going into the weekend with Simeon Akinola (hamstring), Sam Hart (abductor) and Elvis Bwomono (back) all likely to be late decisions.
All three limped off last weekend against Port Vale, as did John White (foot) who too was forced off with an injury, though Mark Molesley is hopeful the defender will recover in time for Saturday.
New signing Jacob Mellis is in the mix for selection after joining from Gillingham with the midfielder adding some competition to the midfield ranks.
Fellow midfielders Alan McCormack (calf) and Terrell Egbri (hamstring) remain absent, though striker Brandon Goodship (rib) could feature after returning to full training.
Derick Osei Yaw only signed for Walsall on deadline day, but the loan signing from Oxford United is likely to be one of the key men Blues need to keep an eye on at the weekend.
Following the departure of top-scorer Elijah Adebayo to Championship side Luton, the Saddlers will be looking to Osei Yaw to plug the goal scoring gap and they’ve seen first-hand what he can do.
The 22-year-old scored a superb winner against Walsall when they met in the Papa John’s Trophy this season and they’ll be hoping he can produce more of the same now he’s in a Saddlers shirt.
David Rock will be the man in the middle at the weekend, being assisted by Daniel Cook and Adrian Tranter, with Stephen Finch between the dugouts as the fourth official.
Rock has officiated 21 games so far this season, showing a total of 67 yellow cards and four reds – three of which have come in his last five games.
Tomorrow will be Rock’s second visit to Roots Hall this season having taken charge of Blues’ 3-1 defeat to West Ham u21s in the Papa John’s Trophy back in September.
With fans not able to attend Roots Hall in person, Blues supporters can watch tomorrow’s game with Walsall 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.