SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell remains frustrated the Shrimpers are not in action this weekend, but believes the break will do his team good.

Blues’ scheduled opponents, Doncaster Rovers, head to Preston North End in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday, meaning Blues are not back in action until Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Portsmouth.

But, after enduring a hectic Christmas period, Powell believes a rest will enable his squad to regain full fitness.

“Of course I do wish we were playing in the FA Cup ourselves and we were cheated out of it in a way with the disallowed goal we had against Barnsley in the second round,” said Powell.

“But we’ve got a rest now and that will do us good.

“The players were running on empty towards the end of the Gillingham game if I’m honest.

“Sam Mantom, Stephen Hendrie, Timothee Dieng and Theo Robinson all played three games in six days.

“Taylor Moore could probably play every day but we’ve done that twice before already this season so I told them to not let them affect them.

“But we can rest up and recover now.”

The Shrimpers host Portsmouth on Tuesday before returning to League One action at home to Plymouth Argyle the following Saturday.

And Powell is already looking forward to both games.

“I think we all needed a bit of a breather because it’s been full on, especially with it being Christmas as well so it’s seemed even more hectic,” said Powell.

“But we can get ready for Portsmouth and then Plymouth, which are two more home games we’re looking forward to, especially after the Gillingham win.”