Southend United midfielder Will Atkinson hopes for swift return from suspension

Echo: Will Atkinson - hoping to be recalled to Southend United's starting line-up this weekend Will Atkinson - hoping to be recalled to Southend United's starting line-up this weekend

WILL Atkinson cannot wait to get back in action for Southend United – but knows he might have to wait for his next chance.

Atkinson has impressed in the centre of the park since signing for the Shrimpers at the start of the season.

But the 25-year-old midfielder missed Saturday’s 3-1 victory at Chesterfield with a one match ban after accumulating five yellow cards.

And he is now sweating on a possible recall for this weekend’s trip to Plainmoor.

“I would like to think I would go back in to the team but at the same time I realise it’s hard to change a winning team,” said Atkinson.

“With the quality of squad we have here it can be tough to get back in to the team after you’ve had to drop out of it but it’s the manager’s decision and I’ll go with whatever he thinks is best.”

Fellow midfielder Ryan Leonard could also be back in contention on Saturday after recovering from the hamstring injury which has kept him out of Blues’ last four matches.

They will do battle with Marc Laird, Michael Timlin and Conor Clifford for a place in the side while boss Phil Brown is still also hoping to complete a deal for Bedsente Gomis.

But Atkinson feels whoever does get the nod will be in for a tough test, despite Torquay being bottom of the League Two table.

“The manager spoke to us in training yesterday about how hard this game would be and how important it is we make a good start,” said the midfielder.

“Any team can win on their day in League Two but we’ll be going there unbeaten in seven games and it’s a match we’re looking forward to."

Blues will also be making the long trip to Devon on the back of an excellent FA Cup win at Chesterfield.

And, after reaching the final of the League Cup with Bradford City last season before also winning promotion via the League Two play-offs, Atkinson is certain a cup run can be hugely beneficial for Blues.

“The cup games are a welcome relief from the pressure of going for promotion and they’re very exciting too,” said Atkinson.

“I’m sure there will be a good atmosphere for our next cup game against Millwall and it will be good to test ourselves against Championship opposition.

“But up until then we’ll be focusing on the league and trying to keep the good run we’re on at the moment going for as long as we can.”

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