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Five Southend United players face fitness test ahead of game against Plymouth Argyle
FIVE players will face late fitness for Southend United ahead of tonight’s game with Plymouth Argyle at Roots Hall.
Centre-back Ryan Cresswell is one of the quintet as he will undergo a late check on the calf problem which forced him to miss Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Torquay United.
But Blues boss Paul Sturrock is keen to keep the identity of the other four players under wraps.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to make people’s cards and reveal who is injured but it’s certainly a concern,” said Sturrock.
“It’s a worry though because two or three of the players who are struggling to be fit are not ones who normally come in to the physio’s room.
“Not knowing who is available also makes it hard to work on team shape because you don’t know who is going to be available.
“However, we will have to get on with it because it’s another big game and one we very much need to win.”
Blues go in to the game sitting eighth in the League Two table, six points below the play-off positions.
And Sturrock, who does have striker Barry Corr available again after recovering from illness, wants his players to remain focused on the league and not the forthcoming Johnstone’s Paint Trophy against Crewe Alexandra at Wembley.
“I will be talking to people about this because if you look at Bradford and Swansea, who made the final of the League Cup and also Crewe, none of them have been in great form either,” said Sturrock.
“There might be something in that for us too but having to constantly chop and change the team has been our biggest problem and not having a reserve side has also had a big impact on us.”
Changes will again be necessary this evening against Sturrock’s former side.
The Scotsman enjoyed two spells in charge of the Pilgrims and hopes they will be able to avoid relegation this season.
“I don’t like seeing Plymouth down in 21st and wouldn’t like to have the finger pointed at me if they won’t down because we beat them,” said Sturrock.
“But I’m Southend manager now, we have a job to do and we need to win.
“Reaching the play-offs is going to be hard but it is still possible.”
Sturrock also hopes Matthew Lund’s loan spell from Stoke City will be extended in time for him to play tonight.