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Southend United manager Paul Sturrock ponders team selection for Oxford United clash
SOUTHEND United manager Paul Sturrock has a selection headache for tonight’s clash at Oxford United.
The Blues boss is considering making changes to his starting line-up following Saturday’s 1-0 opening day defeat to Accrington Stanley.
But he feels getting the side right will be a tough task against the O’s.
“I have a number of things to think about when it comes to picking the team and a number of difficult decisions,” said Sturrock.
“I’ve brought Paul Smith in now but he hasn’t played a game in pre-season so it’s catch 22 and I must decide whether or not to go with him or Cameron Belford.
“I also have to decide whether or not John Spicer is fit enough to start and if Michael Timlin can play again after being thrown in after a shoulder injury on Saturday.
“We also have one or two others with knocks so it makes picking the right team quite difficult and I will be thinking things through right up until the last minute.”
But whoever does eventually get selected by Sturrock is in for a difficult evening, according to the Scotsman.
He was not surprised to see Oxford start their season with a 2-0 win at Bristol Rovers at the weekend.
And Sturrock is certain they be tough opposition tonight.
“This is a very difficult game for us because Oxford are a very good side,” said the 55-year-old.
“They’ve strengthened their team during the summer with some good signings and we’ve won our last few games against them so they will also be very keen to get one over on us.”
Blues will again be without strikers Freddy Eastwood (calf) and Barry Corr (groin). As a result, Gavin Tomlin looks set to remain in attack and will be looking to impress on his 29th birthday.