SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell insists he will be heading to Blackburn Rovers with a ‘tinge of regret’ this weekend.

The Shrimpers head to their table-topping hosts sitting 12th in the League One table.

But Powell is saddened Blues are not higher up the standings at this late stage of the season.

“We have 53 points now and the minimum we should be aiming for before the end of the season is 60 but you look at that, think the play-offs are normally 72 onwards and realise we could have made that,” said Powell.

“Of course it’s not yet impossible for us to make the play-offs but it will be very, very difficult for us to make the top six now from where we are.

“But there’s a real tinge of regret from me because with what we’ve got and what I’ve got out of them we could have got a lot more this season.”

Powell was appointed Shrimpers boss towards the end of January.

And he has been pleased with the response of his players having suffered just two defeats during his first 12 games in charge.

“We’ve got 22 points from 12 games, you keep that going you’re 44 with just over half the season gone and you’re well on your way,” said Powell.

“Another 12 after that is 66 and I know you shouldn’t look at ifs and buts do it’s hard not to.

“Overall, I can’t really complain though because we were fifth from bottom when I came in.”

The Shrimpers have worked their way out of danger since then.

And Powell - whose side are eight points below the play-offs with six games to go - now has his eyes set on a top 10 finish.

“I want us to be top half if not top 10 but I’ve also got to have an eye on next season because I have to look at who I think will be right for us moving forward,” said Powell.

“Blackburn will be a real test this weekend because they have players of good quality and standard who could play in the Championship but so do we.

“I’ve managed at that level and I know a number of our players could play there.

“Tony Mowbray is someone I admire as a manager and he creates good footballing teams.

“But the onus will on them to attack us tomorrow.”

Blues (from): Oxley, Demetriou, White, Turner, Coker, McLaughlin, Yearwood, Timlin, Kightly, Cox, Robinson, Fortune, Bishop, Wordsworth, Ferdinand, Mantom, Ladapo, Harrison & Wright