MARC Laird was forced to be substituted during half-time of Southend United’s 1-0 defeat to Gillingham yesterday after suffering a nasty facial injury.

Laird was off the pitch for six minutes during the first half at Roots Hall after taking a whack to the face.

And the on-loan Leyton Orient midfielder did not emerge for the second period.

“Marc had a broken tooth and needed stitches to his mouth as well,” said Sturrock.

“He looked really shaken up, but I wanted to bring on Barry Corr anyway and when I saw how bad Marc was it made the decision even easier.”

Sturrock also revealed the club remained in discussions with both Laird and Tamika Mkandawire about their future at the football club after their loan deals at Roots Hall came to an end.

The Scotsman added he was mulling over whether or not to extend Scott Donnelly’s loan spell with the club.

And he added that there was an “obvious” area of the team he needed to strengthen during the January transfer window.

However, he would not reveal where that was.

“You will find out when I sign someone who plays there,” said Sturrock.