ECHOSPORT chats to Walsall fan Tom Peace ahead of tomorrow’s game at Roots Hall.
What have you made of the season so far?
“It’s been interesting. We started the season having lost the vast majority of the squad which missed out on promotion in 2015/16 by one point, and it really showed.
"Jon Whitney struggled to blend the new signings with the existing players and despite impressive wins away at Sheffield United and at home against Bolton, the first half of the season was pretty dismal.
"However, an excellent 4-1 home win against Sheffield United at the start of January was the beginning of six consecutive home wins only ended by Fleetwood Town on Tuesday.
"Away from home though we’ve continued to struggle and haven’t registered a win on the road in 2017.”
What are your hopes for the rest of the season?
“Any distant play-off hopes were distinguished by the defeat on Tuesday, so it’s a case of securing a top half finish and looking forward to next season. I would imagine that a fair few of the fringe players might feature in the coming weeks.”
Franck Moussa joined Walsall from Blues in the summer. How has he played this season?
“I was actually really excited about Moussa when he signed, but he’s probably been the biggest let down of the season.
"He doesn’t look interested most of the time, and the modicum of talent he possesses going forward doesn’t make up for his laziness in tracking back and helping out his team-mates.
"I would be very, very surprised if we took the additional year’s option on his contract.”
Walsall fan - Tom Peace
Who are the players Southend will need to keep an eye on?
“Fourteen goal Erhun Oztumer has been far and away our best player this season and is always capable of the spectacular.
"In terms of the rest of our attacking threat, that probably comes mainly from our wing-backs.
"On Tuesday night against Fleetwood we only started with two genuine attacking players - Oztumer and Simeon Jackson - so we’re certainly more functional than flamboyant.”
What’s the team news ahead of the game.
“John Whitney has settled on a 5-4-1 formation since the Sheffield United game and we will most likely line up with that again on Saturday.
"On-loan Celtic defender Eoghan O’Connell has impressed since he joined in January but he is definitely out injured.
“Kieron Morris may come back in to the side in place of George Dobson.”