SOUTHEND captain Michael Guess will make his first start of the season when the Seasiders host struggling Barking in a hugely important game at Warners Bridge tomorrow.
Guess has yet to figure this term after fracturing an arm during a pre-season friendly with Old Albanians.
But the prop forward hopes to mark his comeback with a vital win this weekend.
“I cannot wait to get out there again and get playing again, especially as it will be against my former side,” said Guess, 29.
“It’s been really hard and frustrating having to miss the start of the season and I’ve hated not being able to help the lads out.
“Things haven’t gone as well as we would’ve liked, but I think we have so much talent in our squad that I’m sure things will soon turn around for us.
“We just need that one win to kick start us and I’m pretty confident it will come tomorrow.”
Southend have lost six of their opening eight games and sit third from bottom in the National Two table.
But Barking have been even less successful and have yet to pick up a single point this season.
They have lost all nine of their games and have conceded 468 points along the way, more than any other team in the professional leagues.
The Seasiders will be aiming to pile on more misery tomorrow and, as they attempt to do so, full-back Mark Billings and scrum-half Harry Branch are also fit enough to return to the squad.
Centre Liam MacGeachy is also available to start after being on the bench last Saturday at Bournemouth due to a hamstring problem.
The club’s director of rugby Chris Green is confident his team can end a run of four successive defeats.
“We’ve been concentrating on the things we can do in training this week, rather than what we can’t, because we need to remain positive,” said Green.
“It’s a huge game and having a few players back will make a huge difference. For me Guessy is the best tighthead in the league, so his return is a huge boost.
“We have a number of talented players and we want to go out there and show what we can really do against Barking.”