SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell will be carefully monitoring the fitness of his squad before finalising the Shrimpers’ starting line-up at Scunthorpe United this evening.

Rob Kiernan, Harry Lennon and Luke Hyam all returned to the team at Blackpool on Saturday after injury lay-offs, while Jason Demetriou entered the action as a second half substitute.

And Powell must now decide whether or not the players will be able to line-up for a second time in the space of just four days.

“They’ve had two days of recovery and we’ll have to make decisions on the likes of Rob Kiernan, Harry Lennon and Luke Hyam,” said Powell.

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a concern but they’ve been out with us preparing and they all did well at the weekend.”

Lennon made his first start in the Shrimpers defence since recovering from the broken leg he suffered against Walsall in October.

And Powell was pleased to see the defender back in action.

“Harry made great decisions on and off the ball,” said Powell.

“He showed his aerial ability and he gives us balance with his left foot too.

“He also gives us pace and I would argue he’s the fastest player at the club.

“It was great to see him back and obviously Rob as well, who got his goal.”

Hyam featured in the Shrimpers midfield and Powell also feels he has a key part to part for Blues.

“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 give us that aggression and he knows what pass to make at the right time.

“We’ve missed that and he is very calm.

“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.

“Luke did really well on Saturday but when he’s been out for a while like he has to ask him to do it again on Tuesday then Saturday again is a big ask but it’s needs must at the moment really because we need points.”

Blues will again be without John White but Powell is hopeful the defender will be fit to face AFC Wimbledon this weekend.

Goalkeeper Mark Oxley should also return to full training on Thursday but striker Stephen Humphrys is still waiting to have an operation on a fractured cheekbone and eye socket and will not be available for tonight’s clash.