BLUES could have a striker shortage for tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash at the Kassam Stadium.

Britt Assombalonga faces another late fitness test on ankle and shin problems while Barry Corr is unlikely to be able to start a second game in four days due to his recent injuries.

Freddy Eastwood is also a doubt with a knee problem and that leaves Gavin Tomlin and Elliot Benyon as Blues’ only fully fit strikers.

Neil Harris has returned to full training after recovering from a knee injury but has not played since September.

And boss Paul Sturrock will therefore make a late decision on who to select up front against the U’s.

“We have one or two players who will be having late fitness tests and then we will go from there,” said Sturrock.

“The plus point is that having to bring in other people may actually freshen up the team after playing so many games in the last few weeks.”

Blues will definitely be forced in to a change in midfield as Marc Laird is cup tied having played in a previous round for Leyton Orient.

He is likely to be replaced by David Martin, Anthony Straker or John Spicer Southend United (from): Smith, Clohessy, Cresswell, Phillips, Prosser, Woodyard, Hurst, Martin, Timlin, Tomlin, Assombalonga, Corr, Benyon, Eastwood, Straker, Bentley, Spicer & Barker