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26 April 2022

Southend United Head Coach Kevin Maher was full of praise for Boreham Wood ahead of their trip to Roots Hall this evening.

The Blues boss feels that opposing manager Luke Garrard has achieved a lot with his club this season, and is expecting a tough test when they head to Essex.

"They’ve had a brilliant season,” said the 45-year-old.

"I know they’ve had a bit of a dip recently, but they got back to winning ways at the weekend.

"And all credit to them for what they’ve done this season, for them to be where they are is testament to the manager and the work that’s gone on there.

"They had a difficult period but that happens to everyone and they will be looking to finish the season strongly.

"They’ve had a lot of games and a great FA Cup run so this will be a tough, tough test.

"They’ll ask questions of us, and we will have to stand up to that but hopefully we can pose one or two problems ourselves and it should be a decent game."

Blues look to clinch their third successive victory when Garrard’s men come to town, but Maher may face selection headaches with an injury-hit squad.

Kenny Clark, Jack Bridge and Noor Husin were all forced off with respective injury issues and Blues’ Head Coach gave an update on their fitness.

"Clarky wasn’t able to train today [Monday]," said Maher.

"He’s probably a bit sorer than when he had to come off.

"Bridgey was tight so we’ll monitor that and give him every chance we can.

"Noor it’s something more neural than a tear as such but we’ll give them the best chance we can."

In their 1-0 victory against FC Halifax Town on Saturday, Blues lined up with Jason Demetriou at left wing-back, with natural left-sided defenders Tom Clifford and Nathan Ralph facing spells on the side lines.

And Maher spoke of their status.

[Clifford] "Hasn't trained yet but fingers crossed we’ll know more later in the week."

[Ralph] "He hasn’t been out on the grass yet.

"We have games coming up short and sharp and then a break until the last one.

"There might be a possibility in between that time without putting pressure on him but it’s probably too early to say whether or not he will make it this season."

Added to the list on unavailable players for this evening’s clash is John White, the long-serving defender returned from his loan spell at Wimborne Town but is suspended for tonight’s match.

Maher revealed that he may be looking at giving the 35-year-old some game time, but that he will have to wait for his chance.

"John has come back in after his time away," said the Blues boss.

"He’s had game time as well which is pleasing.

"It will be something we can look at as well, but he’s suspended for tomorrow."

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