SOUTHEND United boss Sol Campbell wants the Shrimpers to show their true capabilities against Oxford United tomorrow.

The U’s head to Roots Hall this weekend sitting seventh in the League One standings having not been beaten in 14 games.

But Campbell wants Blues to rise to the challenge and show they can be more than a match for teams in the third tier.

“Oxford are playing really well and they’ve got a settled side but we have to rise to the challenge and enjoy the challenge of facing a team like Oxford too,” said Campbell.

“We’ve put the lads through their paces but we’re doing that so they can go toe-to-toe with the opposition because that’s key for us.

“We have to be on par with other teams and I don’t think we have been for a very long time.

“We have to be able to stay in games and then have our moments where we can show what we can do and start to cause teams more problems.”

In stark contrast to Oxford, the Shrimpers are currently second from bottom in the table and have triumphed just once in 17 League One matches this season.

Campbell has been in charge for the past three League outings, all of which have ended in defeat.

And the former England international is fully aware it will take time to turn things around.

“It’s a gradual process but we have to change the mentality, the fitness and the way we look at games,” said Campbell.

“We have to keep working and we have to take the handbrake off just like we did against Wimbledon in the last game.

“We have to fight for every single point whoever we’re playing.

“We have to turn losses into draws and draws into wins but it’s going to be hard.”

But Campbell is pleased with how things are starting to come together.

“Everything was a bit too loose at the club before and we’ve tried to bring it all together,” said Campbell.

“But it’s a team effort and that’s the only way we will get out.”

Blues are likely to be without 11 players again this weekend with Luke Hyam (hamstring), Stephen Humphrys (thigh), Sam Mantom (hamstring), Joe Shaughnessy (knee), Charlie Kelman (ankle), Sam Barratt (knee), Harry Kyprianou (knee), John White (arm) and Lewis Gard (knee) all injured.

Liam Ridgewell remains in discussions to terminate his contract while fellow centre-back Harry Lennon will not be considered after he was filmed in a pub with a jubilant Dover Athletic player following Blues’ FA Cup defeat to the Kent club.