SOUTHEND United are facing a centre-back shortage ahead of tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash at Colchester United.

John White will miss out on facing his former side with the hamstring problem he suffered against Oxford United on Saturday, while Harry Kyprianou is on international duty with Cyprus under-21s.

And Blues boss Chris Powell is therefore lacking options at the heart of the back four.

“Thinking about who to play took up most of my Sunday but we will have to have a role call and see who is available,” said Powell.

“Ideally, I would like to rest some players ahead of the Gillingham game this weekend but it could well be a case of needs must.”

Experienced centre-back Michael Turner has been among those to traditionally be rested in cup competitions but he may be forced into action tonight.

Long-term absentee Rob Kiernan is not yet ready to return while Harry Lennon has not featured since the opening day of the season.

And Powell must now also do without White and top goalscorer Tom Hopper, with both limping off at the weekend.

Jason Demetriou will also miss this evening’s encounter due to his involvement with Cyprus.

That is likely to see Elvis Bwomono recalled at right-back but Powell must pay close attention to the competition’s rules.

“We have to be inside the rules and regulations of the competition, which are quite tricky,” said Powell.

“You have to have four from the game before and four who have played 40 games or more so there are a few details you have to clarify and that also comes into your thinking.”