SOUTHEND United manager Sol Campbell insists tonight’s Trophy clash against AFC Wimbledon is no dead rubber.

The Shrimpers are unable to advance past the group stages of the competition after losing in their first two games.

But Campbell still believes there is plenty to play for at Roots Hall this evening.

“It means a lot to us,” said the 45-year-old.

“It’s all about getting a performance out of the lads.

“After the last game we need a good performance and we have to take the handbrake off.

“I know it’s hard to do that when you’ve lost a lot of games but we have to start mentally preparing for the League games.

“It’s not a free hit but it’s a game where we need to be free in our play and play our football.”

Campbell has been beaten in his first four games as Shrimpers boss.

But he wants his side to keep giving their all as they attempt to end a 10 match winless streak.

“We have to work hard and we have to want to score goals and defend too,” said Campbell.

“We have to enjoy the challenge and have passion too.

“We have to have the will to do the right things and get the basics right as well.

“We have to start well and we have to start performing as individuals and as a team.

“We work hard in training but we have to take that onto the pitch.”

Campbell seems set to select a strong starting line-up against the Dons, who can still qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

However, the former England international could also call upon some of the Shrimpers’ young players.

“There will be a few youngsters but I won’t say who just yet because I don’t want to put anyone under pressure,” said Campbell.

“Some of the guys will be on the bench and there will be a mixture of players but it’s good for young players to come in and sample this kind of pressure.

“But the whole squad will need a good performance because we’ve got to get something out of this.”

Centre-back Richard Taylor and strikers Matt Rush and Emile Acquah are among those pushing to be involved this evening.

However, midfielder Isaac Hutchinson is suspended after being sent off against Leyton Orient in Blues’ opening game in the Trophy this season.