SOUTHEND United boss Phil Brown is hoping his side have ‘woken up in time’ to prolong their play-off charge.
The seventh placed Shrimpers ended a three match winless streak by beating 2-0 Coventry City on Tuesday night.
And Brown is now keen for Blues to build on the victory as they strive to secure a top six finish.
“Hopefully we’ve woken up in time for the run in,” said the 57-year-old.
“I think you can count on one hand the number of times I have made five changes between league games in my four years at Southend but sometimes you have to put a marker down with your team selection as a manager.
“That’s what I did against Coventry and maybe it was a case of players resting on their laurels.
“We shuffled the pack and that pack got a clean sheet and a result which we now need to go and build on against Walsall.”
Blues head into the game sitting a point below Millwall who currently occupy the final play-off place.
The Lions have two games in hand on the Shrimpers.
But Brown is looking for Southend to keep the pressure on the South Londoners.
“It’s out of our hands but if we keep winning then it might be back in our hands,” said Brown.
“Last season we faded but the year before that we had a great run and ended up getting promotion so hopefully that can happen again this season and it’s certainly what we’re pushing for.”
Brown is therefore eager to see off Walsall this weekend.
However, he is expecting a tricky afternoon against a Saddlers side who have recovered from a shaky start to the season and now sit ninth in the table, just four points below Blues.
“Walsall have been quite impressive in the last two or three months,” said Brown.
“They’ve been through a transition after losing a lot of players from last season when they just missed out on automatic promotion and they took a while to get going, similar to ourselves in many ways after the turnover in players we had.
“They will be tough opposition and have a little wizard in (Erhun) Oztumer.
“He can play like Lionel Messi and Jack Payne, he’s that type of player.
“They still have a chance to get in the play-offs but we have to try and kill that chance on Saturday."