SOUTHEND United face their sixth game in 18 days tonight when they travel to Oxford United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern section semi-final.
But boss Paul Sturrock wants his side to add even more fixtures to their already hectic fixture list.
Victory at the Kassam Stadium would set up a two legged area final against Leyton Orient or Yeovil Town, with the winners of that going on to reach Wembley.
And Sturrock also hopes Blues can beat Brentford in next week’s FA Cup replay to set up a fourth round clash against Chelsea.
“I think there have been a couple of games just recently when the players have looked a bit jaded but we have to get on with it and hope to even more matches coming up,” said Sturrock.
“Oxford tonight is a very hard game as they’ve been on a fantastic run of form lately and both teams will be really fired up to win and get a step closer to Wembley.
“That’s a huge incentive and so is the chance to play Chelsea.
“But there’s no point in thinking about that at this stage because we have a very hard replay to play at Brentford.
“They have a great record at home and it will be very difficult trying to get a win there.”
However, right now Sturrock is only focusing on facing Oxford at the Kassam Stadium this evening.
And he hopes Blues can build on their promising performance against Brentford on Saturday when they fought back from 2-0 down to draw.
“It was a real credit to the players how they fought back at the weekend against a very good side and we will need those battling qualities again this evening,” said Sturrock.
“Oxford have some quality players all the pitch and they also have quite a settled side at the moment so we know we’re in for a very hard game.
“They also have the sign over us after beating us earlier on in the season but we hope to be able to get a better result tonight.”
If this evening’s game is level at the end of 90 minutes the tie will go straight to a penalty shoot out.