SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown could call a trio of youngsters into the squad for tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Oxford United.

Brown is keen to field a strong side against the U’s.

But he is also considering including left-back Harry Kyprianou, centre-back Dan Matsuzaka and central midfielder Joe Bedford in his squad.

“Harry, Dan and Joe are certainly nudging towards all being involved and it’s good for young players to get that experience of seeing how things are done in the first team,” said Brown.

“We’re fully focused on winning the tie and the strength of my starting line-up will respect that.

“But I could well have a few of the youngsters on the bench if possible.”

Matsuzaka, who has played internationally at youth level for Japan, made his first team debut for the Shrimpers against Brighton and Hove Albion’s under 23 team in the Checkatrade Trophy in August.

Kyprianou was also handed his first start for Blues that night and was among the goalscorers in a 2-0 victory.

The former Watford full-back also netted in a 1-1 draw at Bolton and is now desperate to add to the five first team appearances he has made this season.

“I’ve spoken to Harry and he’s obviously desperate to be in the first team, especially with Ben Coker being out injured at the moment,” said Brown.

“I’m sure Dan has also seen Ryan Inniss getting injured and he’ll be thinking he isn’t far away from the first team squad which he isn’t at the moment if I’m honest.”

And Brown is also considering calling up Bedford who has scored three goals in his last three games for Blues’ under 21 team.

“Joe looks very comfortable in every game he’s playing at the moment either in the under 21s or a more senior side,” said the Shrimpers chief.

“He certainly looks like he has a good career ahead of him.”

Southend United (from): Oxley, Demetriou, Thompson, Ferdinand, Timlin, Atkinson, Leonard, Wordsworth, McLaughlin, Cox, Ranger, White, O’Neill, Fortune, Sokolik, King, McGlashan, Smith, Kyprianou, Matsuzaka & Bedford