Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Ryan Auger in contention for Southend United debut at Newport County
RYAN Auger could be set for his Southend United debut at Newport County tomorrow.
With John White and Mark Phillips both suspended and Adam Thompson still struggling with a calf injury, the Shrimpers are short of defenders.
That could result in right back Auger, inset, lining up at Rodney Parade.
But the 19-year-old insists he is ready to make the most of any opportunity coming his way.
“I’ve been working really hard this season. I feel fit and sharp and I’m definitely ready to make my debut if the manager picks me,” said Auger, who has been with Blues since the age of 11.
“Being in and around the first team this season and being on the bench a few times has been brilliant, and playing in the behind-closed-doors friendlies we’ve had has really helped me develop as a player.
“I had a meeting with Cocko (Graham Coughlan) last week and he said then that John White was on four yellow cards, so my chance could come if he got a fifth which meant he would be banned. But I will just have to wait and see if I’m involved.”
Blues, who slipped to 11th in the League Two table after their midweek defeat to Dagenham, could also move midfielder Ryan Leonard to right-back for tomorrow’s clash at Newport.
But Auger has impressed playing regularly in that role for the reserves. And he wants to be able to help the Shrimpers get back to winning ways against newly-promoted Newport.
“Newport are doing well after coming up and they’re a good side,” said Auger. “I don’t know too much about them but their results speak for themselves and we know we’re in for a tough game.
“But we’ve been playing well too and we want to go there and get the three points, especially after our frustrating defeat to Dagenham.”
Blues boss Phil Brown is still contemplating his defensive options but admitted Auger was in his thinking after impressing him in the reserves.
“Ryan has shown he is ready to step up in the last four or five weeks now,” said Brown. “He’s developed his game under the guidance of Graham Coughlan and Dave Penney and we could well see a debut from him tomorrow.
“He can spot a pass but doesn’t yet have that experience of winning a battle which is something we might need against Newport.
“There’s plenty to be thinking about but it’s safe to say Ryan is definitely in my thoughts for the team on Saturday.”