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21 February 2022

After the disappointment of having their Friday night clash against Grimsby Town postponed, Southend United return to action this evening as they make the trip to Eastleigh.

And despite being left frustrated by Friday’s deferral, Blues’ Head Coach Kevin Maher is keen to keep the momentum going in Hampshire tonight.

"We were disappointed not to play but ultimately it was the right decision I suppose," said Maher.

"We trained Saturday morning and we’re ready to train again this morning.

"They’re looking in good shape ahead of what is going to be a difficult game."

Storm Eunice wreaked great havoc on numerous fixtures over the weekend, with winds up to 122mph recorded in England making for unplayable conditions for many across the country.

Maher admitted that the wind is the hardest of the elements to deal with.

"If you ask any player or coach, I’m sure they would say wind is probably the worst weather to play in.

"You don’t mind it raining or being cold, but the wind plays havoc.

"It was blustery to say the least in training today and it might be like that tomorrow, but you just have to crack on with it and cope.

"We need to continue what we have been doing and try to put in another good performance."

Blues will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run to 10 matches at the Silverlake Stadium, and if they manage to do so, they will be extending the Spitfires’ winless run to the same margin.

But, rubbishing the form guide, Southend Head Coach Maher knows that a difficult match lies in store for his side.

"It will be a tough one.

"We’ve watched their recent games and I think they’ve lost a good manager in Ben [Strevens].

"There’s a bit of transition at the minute but they’ve been better at home, and they can cause you problems.

"We have to focus on ourselves and what we do well."

And increased squad depth and competition for places remains an important factor for Blues’ upturn in form, with Maher left very happy with his options.

Despite some perhaps being left disappointed by their omission from the squad, the Blues boss is keen to stress that they are good problems to have.

"We’ve had the chance to work properly, especially with those who aren’t in the team right now.

"They’re the ones pushing those in the starting 11 at the minute and we have good competition for places.

"It’s tough to pick who is on the bench as well but they’re good headaches to have.

"We’re looking forward to the game tomorrow night, but it will be tough at their place where they’ve been quite good, we will have to be on our game to get a result."

And a further boost to Blues’ hopes in Hampshire is the availability of Matt Dennis.

The striker, who missed Southend’s last outing, has scored seven times in his last nine outings, and Maher is pleased with his return.

"Matty comes into contention.

"He got through training today so that’s good news on that front."

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