SOUTHEND United’s caretaker manager Gary Waddock will leave selecting his starting line-up until as late as possible at Tranmere Rovers on Friday. 

Blues centre-back Harry Lennon (groin) and striker Stephen Humphrys (thigh) are both facing fitness tests before the clash at Prenton Park.

But Waddock has therefore yet to finalise his side.

“We haven’t named the team yet because there are one or two we have to wait and see if they suffer any kind of reaction to training again,” said Waddock.

“Harry Lennon and Stephen Humphrys have both done some work but Stephen, who trained yesterday, had been out for eight days or so we’re going to have to wait on him.”

Humphrys, who is Blues’ top scorer this term, missed Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to AFC Wimbledon with a thigh problem while Lennon limped off with a groin injury early on.

Luke Hyam (Achilles), Sam Mantom (hamstring), Charlie Kelman (ankle), John White (broken arm) and Layton Ndukwu (hamstring) will all miss tonight’s game along with defender Liam Ridgewell who only returned to training yesterday after recovering from a calf problem.

The Shrimpers - who sit second from bottom in the League One standings - go into the game having suffered four defeats in succession.

And Waddock is eager to see an improved performance from the players.

“The players need to react,” said Waddock.

“The current situation is unacceptable. The players need to respond, take responsibility and put in a performance.”

In contrast, Tranmere have triumphed in their last two games and won away at Coventry City last weekend, meaning they will still be on a high this evening.

“Sunday’s win would have been a real boost for them so they will be going into the game with a lot of confidence,” said Waddock.

“We’ll have to make sure we set our stall out early on and stay in the game.”