Southend United's Paul Sturrock: It's absolutely crazy season ends in April

Paul Sturrock - welcomes Oxford United to Roots Hall tomorrow

Paul Sturrock - welcomes Oxford United to Roots Hall tomorrow

First published in Blues by

TOMORROW’S game with Oxford United is the start of a very busy period for us.

We play seven games during 24 days in February and seven in 27 during March which is quite a hectic schedule.

And while you hope to be able to get lucky and not pick up too many injuries or suspensions during that time it is very hard to have a squad able to deal with that amount of matches.

We do have a couple of additional games because of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final with Leyton Orient but all of the teams are in a similar situation with a congested fixture list.

It’s all because the season has suddenly been brought forward to finish in April for some reason and I personally think it’s absolutely crazy.

We’ll be going for it the best we can and we pride ourselves on the levels of fitness we have in our squad.

We do a lot of work on it and we’ve won quite a few matches late on this season which proves we have been getting that side of things right.

That will be of benefit in the next couple of months and hopefully in the game against Oxford tomorrow too.

We’ve already played them twice this season, losing one and drawing the other before winning that tie in the JPT on penalties but I do still feel like we owe them one.

We played very, very well against them in the second half the last time we played there and I hope we can carry that on tomorrow because we have to start making Roots Hall a harder place to come.

We’ve won five times at home this season and that’s the lowest number out of any team in top half of the table so it’s something we need to improve.

The remaining matches we have at our own ground will have a huge say on how successful our season is so we do need to start picking up more points there.

We’re going in to it full of confidence after winning a hard game at Chesterfield last weekend and I think that’s given everyone a lift.

We also have a few players coming back in to contention and it’s been great to have Britt Assombalonga training with us again.

He’s actually been out for quite some time now but if you look at the results when he doesn’t play then it’s clear to see how influential he is to the side.

But we need to think carefully about how to use him and when to bring him back.

I would think he will be involved in some capacity on Saturday but I have up until tomorrow morning to think things through.

Our new signing Caolan Lavery has had a slight hamstring injury which needs checking and so has Marc Laird.

You have to be very careful with those kind of injuries though because if we bring them back too soon then they could be out again for even longer so there’s certainly plenty to be thinking about when it comes to picking the team this weekend.

GAVIN TOMLIN NOT FOR SALE

THERE has been plenty of speculation surrounding Gavin Tomlin’s future in the last few days but all I will say is that it would take a very big bid for us to even consider letting him leave.

We’re trying to get promotion and letting our top goalscorer depart would just make no sense at all.

He is out of contract at the end of the season but we will be offering him a new one and hope he stays.

But if he decides to go then we’ll shake him by the hand and wish him all the best.

FULL COLUMN IN FRIDAY'S ECHO

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