PHIL Brown hopes Southend United’s rivalry with Leyton Orient can bring the EFL Trophy to live at Roots Hall tonight.

The introduction of under-23 teams in this season’s competition has caused widespread unrest among supporters.

But Brown is keen for this evening’s encounter to be one to remember.

“A lot has been said about the format of the Trophy this season but hopefully the rivalry there is between Southend and Orient can make for a good game tonight,” said Brown.

“I witnessed a bit of the rivalry when we played Orient in pre-season a couple of years ago and fans of the two teams really turned out for it.

“I know the two clubs go back a long way and this is a game we want to win for a variety of reasons.

“We want to keep our good run going, we want to qualify for the next round and we want to beat Orient too.

“This club also has good memories in this competition and we want to go out and make some more now.”

Blues’ beat Brighton’s under-23 team in the first group game of this season’s competition.

But, as the Shrimpers look to build on that success, Brown is again expected to make several changes to his starting line-up.

Defenders John White and Adam Thompson are both pushing to start, along with midfielders Adam King, Will Atkinson and Luke O’Neill.

And Brown also revealed both Marc-Antoine Fortune and Simon Cox could start against the O’s.

“I thought Marc-Antoine Fortune showed glimpses of what he’s capable of when he came on for his debut against Peterborough at the weekend and there’s a possibility he will start up top with Simon Cox,” said Brown.

“These are big players for us but there’s a lot going round in my head with regards to team selection.”

As a result, both Adam Barrett and Anton Ferdinand look set to be given a rest, while Brown is also considering giving Ryan Inniss and Anthony Wordsworth a break.

“I think it could be too many games in a week for Adam Barrett and Anton Ferdinand, and maybe Ryan Inniss too.

“There’s three or four who are in the high risk category, including Anthony Wordsworth.”

However, striker Nile Ranger is unlikely to return from an ankle injury.

“I think it might be too soon for Nile,” said Brown.

“I’ve been talking to the sports science department and there’s still a difference between his left and right foot when it comes to jumping, running, balancing and striking a ball.

“He needs to tick a few more boxes before coming back but he’s not far off.

“We have a behind-closed-doors game with Ipswich tomorrow and he could play some part in that or maybe even Rochdale on Saturday.”