Southend United's Neil Harris: Injuries are hitting us hard

Echo: Neil Harris - waiting for an opportunity to impress Neil Harris - waiting for an opportunity to impress

WE’RE having a spate of injuries at the moment which are really hampering our chances at this moment in time.

The team is chopping and changing and we’ve not been able to rotate the players in the way we would’ve liked.

That contributed to the defeat against Cheltenham Town on Tuesday and it was obviously disappointing to be beaten by one of the teams just above us in the table.

It was a chance for us to overtake them but, like I touched on last week, we haven’t actually been playing too well in the last few weeks and we weren’t at our best against Cheltenham either.

The difference was they made us play and we if are now to recover and progress as a team then we will have to improve.

We need to get back to being defensively solid and being the free flowing attacking team we were just before Christmas.

That has to happen quickly as well because we have another huge game on Saturday against Northampton Town.

They’re a big, strong physical side who are very well organised and have a manager in Aidy Boothroyd who plays percentage football.

His teams are quick on the second balls, threaten from set pieces and long throws and in Adebayo Akinfenwa, inset, I think they have one of the best strikers in the lower leagues.

He’s a player who is easy to knock when you look at him but, having been at Millwall with him, I know how good he is and we will have to keep an eye on him this weekend.

We have our own threats in the team and I think Ben Reeves has already shown his quality and ability since coming in from Southampton.

He’s someone who I think has a big future in the game and he’s a great lad too so he’s fitted in really well.

I’d also like to welcome Danny Mayor to the club.

We only met him for the first time before the Cheltenham game on Tuesday. But we’re looking forward to getting to know him and seeing what he can bring to the team.

A FRUSTRATING TIME FOR ME

IT’S a frustrating time for me at the moment because I want to be playing and be involved in these important matches we’re playing at the moment.

I played 90 minutes against Waltham Abbey in the Essex Senior Cup last week and have been training regularly too so I want to get more minutes on the pitch now.

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, it’s still disappointing when you don’t play, especially as I still feel I have something to prove here.

When you don’t feel that way it’s time to call it a day. But I’m still determined to be involved and make the most of a chance if and when it does come my way.

WISHING ELLIOT ALL THE BEST

ON behalf of all the lads I’d like to wish Elliot Benyon all the best during his loan spell at Torquay.

Elliot is a very popular member of our squad and it’s good he’s got the chance to get out and get some games.

He was in charge of the music in the dressing room up until a couple of months ago when Mark Phillips took over.

He’s been playing some 1990s dance remixes which I’ve been enjoying because not only do the songs have words but I actually know them as well!

Ryan Leonard brought a CD on Tuesday though and it was horrendous.

Some of the young lads seemed to like it, but I didn’t have a clue what was going on and it was just a load of noise!

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