BLUES boss Phil Brown will check on the freshness of midfielder Ryan Leonard before finalising his starting line-up for tomorrow’s game against Walsall.

Leonard is the Shrimpers’ only ever present in the league so far this season.

But Brown is unsure whether or not the 24-year-old is in need of a rest.

“Ryan Leonard got off the coach on Wednesday like somebody had cut his strings,” said the Southend boss.

“He was like a tin-man and to be fair he’s had a really tough season.

“He’s played pretty much every game and he’s one of our more influential and energetic players.

“He works harder than most but I don’t want to lose him because he plays a big part.

“Three games in a week might be a big ask so I’ll have to have a look at him and make a decision from there.”

Leonard bagged Blues’ second goal in their 2-0 win at Coventry City on Tuesday night in a game which saw John White return to the team at right-back.

And Brown was full of praise for the defender who stepped in to replace the injured Jason Demetriou at the Ricoh Arena.

“What a professional performance it was from John,” said Brown.

“He stopped their winger from crosses, he won his headers and won his battle which saw him put down a real marker.”