SOUTHEND United winger Stephen McLaughlin could find it tough to continue his fine scoring record against Gillingham this weekend.

McLaughlin has netted in his last five games against the Gills and 31 per cent of his Shrimpers' goals have come against the Kent club.

However, the Irishman has been below his best so far this season and has failed to make the match-day squad for Blues' last two League games.

But Shrimpers boss Chris Powell remains a fan of the winger.

"He’s a player I like because since I’ve been here he’s been a major player for me," said Powell.

"He’s scored goals and created goals but this year has been a bit tougher for him which is something every player goes through at every level."

Since McLaughlin dropped out of the team, Blues have changed to a 5-3-2 formation and Powell is keen for everyone to adapt to the new system.

"We’ve changed a little bit but every player has to be adaptable," said Powell.

"But Macca has got good talent and when he’s flying he’s a good, good player.

"And let’s hope if he starts or is involved in the 18 at Gillingham that he gets another goal because that’s a strange fact with how many of his goals have come against them."

McLaughlin skippered Blues in Tuesday's night's 2-0 defeat at Colchester United in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night but seems unlikely to start this weekend.