FORMER Southend United midfielder Joe Bedford faces a fight to be fit for Sunday’s FA Cup clash.

Bedford came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall and spent 12 years with the Shrimpers before joining Dover in December 2018.

But the 22-year-old has been struggling with a hamstring problem in the build up to this weekend’s first round tie.

“I was struggling with hamstring trouble and have been out for a couple of weeks since the last FA Cup game but I trained again yesterday,” said Bedford.

“Hopefully I can be involved but that’s going to be up to the manager.

“Either way I think it will be a good game.”

Bedford advanced as far as the under-23s during his lengthy spell with the Shrimpers.

But, despite not making a first team appearance, Bedford does not feel as though he has a point to prove to Blues.

“Obviously it’s a game that I would like to be involved in but it’s not one of those where I feel like I have something to prove because that’s not the case,” said Bedford.

“I have friends that play there and it would be interesting to play against them instead of with them.”

And Bedford also holds happy memories from his spell with Blues.

“I was there from the age of nine and met a lot of good friends who I still speak to,” said Bedford.

“I also learnt the game growing up there so I have memories from all ages.”

But Bedford still feels it was the right decision to leave.

“Things have gone well for me at Dover,” said Bedford.

“A lot of people around me and my family didn’t want me to leave but it was something I thought I needed to do for me and luckily Dover have given me the opportunity

“It’s a great club with great staff and players as well.

“I enjoy coming in every day for training and being part of the first team. I had a few injuries at the start of the season but I hadn’t played in a long while so hopefully I’m over that stage now.”