SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell believes Luke Hyam's fighting qualities make a big difference to the Shrimpers.

Hyam returned to the starting line-up for Saturday's 2-2 draw at Blackpool.

And Powell felt the midfielder showed what Blues have been missing in his absence.

"Luke has had a real injury ravaged season and it’s a shame because in the games where we have performed, like at Bradford and at Blackpool, he’s been playing," said Powell.

"He gives us that aggression and he knows what pass to make at the right time.

"We’ve missed that and he’s very calm too.

"Unfortunately we haven’t been able to get him out regularly but whenever he’s out there he’s a fighter.

"We’ve missed that and you can’t make a player aggressive, they have to have it within them."

Hyam, who joined the Shrimpers after being released by Ipswich Town last summer, has made just seven League starts this term.

And Powell is unsure whether or not the 27-year-old will be able to stay in the side against Scunthorpe United on Tuesday night.

"Luke did really well on Saturday but when he’s been out for a while like he has been, to ask him to do it again on Tuesday then Saturday again is a big ask," said Powell.

"But it’s need must at the moment really."