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Southend United's Chris Barker wary of threat from Exeter City's Jamie Cureton
SOUTHEND United defender Chris Barker knows only full well the threat Jamie Cureton will provide for Exeter City at Roots Hall tomorrow.
Barker spent the 2006/07 season with the experienced striker at Colchester United, when the goal-getter hit the back of the net 24 times in the Championship.
And the Blues skipper (pictured) therefore knows how dangerous his former team-mate can be.
“I spent a year with Jamie earlier on in my career and he’s a very good striker,” said Barker, 32.
“He scored a lot of goals that year and has done throughout his career.
“He’s a real thinker and often converts even half-chances that come his way, so we will have to try and keep him quiet tomorrow.”
Cureton has bagged six goals in seven starts so far this term, despite being 37 years old.
But, having been left out of the side earlier on this season, Barker is just glad to be facing up to the task.
“Being out of the side hadn’t happened for a couple of years so it was frustrating for me,” said Barker.
“It’s happened to me in the past at other clubs and that’s often been the time to move on.
“However, I’m back in the team again now and I’m enjoying it.
“I spent 11 years playing left-back so playing there isn’t a problem for me or I’m happy to go back into the middle if that what the manager wants.”
With Mark Phillips out of the side this weekend with a thigh problem, Barker could well revert to centre-back with Anthony Straker earning a recall at left-back.
But much will depend on the fitness of Luke Prosser, who is currently rated 50/50 with a calf problem.
Ryan Leonard (hamstring) will also face a late fitness test along with Gavin Tomlin (groin), while Elliot Benyon is a doubt with a virus.
Neil Harris (knee) is definitely out, along with goalkeeper Paul Smith (concussion), but striker Barry Corr could be back on the bench against his former team after 17 months out injured.
Youth team goalkeeper Ted Smith could also be among the substitutes if Blues do not bring in another shot-stopper on loan.