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Freedman suffers another injury setback
DOUGIE Freedman has suffered another injury setback and is doubtful for tomorrow night’s clash at Hartlepool United.
The Shrimpers striker returned to action against Huddersfield Town on Saturday after 10 weeks out with a thigh strain.
But he is now struggling with a shoulder problem and could miss out on facing the Monkeyhangers.
“Dougie picked up the injury at the weekend when he was fouled on the edge of the box and we’re not sure if he will be able to play,” Blues boss Steve Tilson told the Echo.
“It’s unbelievable really and of course it will be a blow if he doesn’t play.
“Dougie’s a quality player and he made a difference when he came on against Huddersfield.
“It gave us a lift having him back so to be missing him again would be very disappointing indeed.”
Freedman has yet to train this week and a decision on his fitness will be made today before Blues fly to the north-east.
The 34-year-old joined the Shrimpers on a free transfer from Championship club Crystal Palace at the start of September but he has made only five appearances since.
Freedman has netted four goals and has been badly missed by Blues during his absences.
“Injuries to key players are always disappointing and that’s what we’ve had this year,” added Tilson.
“As well as Dougie we’ve had Lee Barnard, Alan McCormack and Steve Mildenhall out injured for quite a while at times and with players coming in and out all the time it’s been difficult.
“There has been no continuity which is a problem and it’s something we need to try and get back.”
Southend also need to get back on form after a disappointing last few weeks which has seen them go six league games without a win.
That has pushed the Shrimpers down to 12th in the table and they are now nine points shy off the play-offs.
Tilson remains confident of closing that gap and is sure his side still has what it takes to succeed.
“I believe in my players and think we can put together the kind of run we need to get back into contention,” he said.
“It’s never easy at Hartlepool but we have enough about us to be able to get a result there.”
The Monkeyhangers, who are just below Blues in the table, will also be under the leadership of Chris Turner following the dismissal of Danny Wilson.
“I don’t understand what’s gone on there,” said Tilson.
“They are mid-table and it’s not like they are a Leeds or a Leicester at this level so I find it strange.
“I’m not sure what’s happened but it will make their players more fired up and we have to be able to cope with that.”