SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell will not be toying with his starting line-up for tomorrow’s FA Cup clash against Crawley Town.

Powell has seen his Shrimpers squad decimated by injuries this season.

But he will still be selecting a strong side to face Crawley at Roots Hall.

“I won’t be blooding players to give them game time,” confirmed Powell.

“We’ll be strong and give the respect we have to to the competition and to Crawley as well because we have to.

“I know why people get so interested in the cup and for me it’s never been devalued despite what anyone says.

“I always feel it’s a chance to generate real interest in the club and hopefully this is the start of us doing well in the competition because I want it to happen.”

The Shrimpers have been boosted by the return of goalkeeper Ted Smith and midfielder Luke Hyam from injuries, with them both lining up for the under-23s.

But Powell hinted the fit-again duo are more likely to play against Southampton’s under-21 team in the Checkatrade Trophy at Roots Hall on Wednesday night.

“We have to be careful and we can’t just rush players back,” said Powell.

“They have to get up to speed but the Checkatrade Trophy game could be one to look at.

“I don’t want to rush Luke back for the FA Cup and set him back.

“We’re trying to build him up and hopefully he will get more minutes next week and go from there.”

And Powell could also call upon some of the club’s younger players in the next few weeks.

“We will have to use everyone and some of the 23s too,” said the Blues boss.

“Whether that’s in the Checkatrade Trophy or the League I’ll show trust in them but we’ve got some good players and now is the chance for them to step up.”