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Paul Sturrock back in charge of Southend United for AFC Wimbledon clash
PAUL Sturrock will be back in charge of Southend United against AFC Wimbledon tonight, seeking another vital victory in his side’s push for the play-offs.
The Scotsman missed Saturday’s 2-1 win at Port Vale with an infected leg.
But he will be bossing Blues again this evening when they host the Dons at Roots Hall, looking to get closer to the top seven sides.
“My leg is still causing me problems but I’ll be back in charge tonight and it’s another important game for us,” said Sturrock.
“My leg became swollen and discoloured last week and the doctor was worried I had DVT.
“I’ve been given medication now which has settled it down a bit and I’ll be with the team this evening.”
That was not the case at the weekend as Sturrock remained at home instead of travelling to Port Vale And the Southend chief admitted it was a strange experience not being at the game.
“I was listening to the game online and when it got to 2-1 I almost went for a walk in the garden as it sounded quite nervy,” said Sturrock.
“But you could hear how hard the lads had worked and to get a win there was fantastic.”
The victory moved eighth placed Blues to within five points of the play-offs and they also still have a game in hand on most of the teams above them in the table.
That pleases Sturrock but he knows Southend must start to improve their form against sides struggling towards the foot of the divison.
“I’ve looked at our remaining games and I think we only play one of the top 10 during our remaining fixtures,” said Sturrock.
“It’s in our hands in my opinion, but we haven’t done very well against the lower teams so far this season.
“We haven’t been great at home either so these three games coming up could well shape our season.
“We need to pick up as many points as we can in them if we are to close the gap even further.”
However, Sturrock expects a tough test from an AFC Wimbledon side, despite them being 21st in the table.
“Wimbledon have been in good form lately and have won three of their last six games,” said Sturrock.
“They got a good win on Saturday against York and will definitely be hard for us to play against.”
Tonight’s match will also be the last of Matthew Lund’s month long loan spell from Stoke City.
But Sturrock is already in discussions to keep the midfielder at the club.
“Matthew has done well and we’re in negotiations for him to stay with us for longer,” said the Blues boss.
Danny Mayor’s loan spell from Sheffield Wednesday also expires after this evening’s game but the winger is a doubt with an ankle injury.