SOUTHEND United are raring to go for tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Portsmouth, according to manager Chris Powell.

The Shrimpers have not taken to the field since beating Gillingham 2-0 in a dramatic encounter last Tuesday.

And Powell believes Blues cannot wait to get back in action.

“Beating Gillingham was a great way to start the New Year and we’re all raring to go again now,” said the 49-year-old.

“The dressing room was hyper after the game.

“We came in the next day and the spirit was still there so we’ve tried to keep that going because it does make a difference.”

Blues were without a game at the weekend due to their scheduled opponents, Doncaster Rovers, still being in the FA Cup.

But Powell feels the break will have done his players the world of good.

“It’s been good to recharge the batteries but of course we would’ve wanted to be in the FA Cup ourselves,” said Powell.

“But we’ve had time to recover and prepare for a big game against Portsmouth. We will have young players in the team but they’re young players who have been playing so it will be a strong team.

“Everyone is looking forward to the game and wants to win another football match.”

League One leaders Portsmouth secured another fine victory at the weekend, winning 1-0 at Championship high-flyers Norwich City in the FA Cup.

And Powell is therefore unsure if the Checkatrade Trophy will be high on the list of the Hampshire club’s priorities.

“Portsmouth are going for promotion and they’re in the fourth round of the FA Cup too so they have plenty to play for,” said Powell.

“Kenny (Jackett) will put out a competitive team but I’m not sure the Checkatrade will be high on the list of their priorities.”