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Match Previews

The big preview – Southend

28 February 2014

Wanderers will be looking to make it three wins on the spin and stretch their unbeaten run to five games when they visit Southend United on Saturday (k.o 3pm).

Gareth Ainsworth’s men have breathed new life into their season and back-to-back wins over leaders Chesterfield and Exeter City mean that confidence is high within the camp.

Promotion-chasing Southend currently occupy the final Sky Bet League 2 play-off position, but Phi Brown’s men have not won in their last eight games and lost 2-1 to Northampton Town last time out.

Top scorer Kevan Hurst signed a deal today (Friday) and the midfielder will be looking to add to his 11 goals so far this season.

Gareth Ainsworth – talking to Chairboys Player

“It’s an honour to be up against a manager who has managed at Premier League. First and foremost the respect will be there and I’ll be telling the boys that they’ve got to be on it.

“We have to be secure at the back and I’ll tell the boys ‘don’t be afraid to play your stuff but never treat Southend with anything but the upmost respect because they can come and bite you’.

“They’ll be looking for the win and they’re a strong, powerful side. I watched them against Exeter a couple of weeks ago so I’ve got a bit on them and we’ll be exploiting any weaknesses that we can.

“It’ll be a tough game and they’re at the top for a reason.”

Phil Brown – talking to southendunited.co.uk

“Something is missing at the moment, but what we need is belief to get over the winning line to get back to how we were before Hull City.

“Everyone is slightly below par at the moment and we’ve got to try and bring our best game to the table on Saturday against Wycombe.

“On Tuesday night at half-time, I thought we’d been in a really good game of football, with both sides battling for control of the game.

“But we dropped off in the second-half. We’ve got to make sure on Saturday we’re at it for 90 minutes.

“It has been a tough few weeks, but our battling qualities have shone through a number of times this season and we’ll need that again.

“Wycombe are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, and we’re fighting for our lives to remain in the play-off places.”

Team news

Wanderers could again be without skipper Stuart Lewis (hamstring) and Matt McClure (illness), while defenders Gary Doherty, Charles Dunne and Tommy Fletcher remain on the sidelines.

Reece Styche is away on international duty with Gibraltar, but loan signing Aaron Pierre is included in the squad.

Republic of Ireland U21 defender John Egan could make his debut after joining on loan from Sunderland, but Luke Prosser and former Wanderers loanee Adam Thompson are doubts.

Odds

Southend – Evens
Draw – 11/5
Wycombe – 5/2

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Roots Hall as Chairboys Player will be providing live commentary from 2.55pm. Non-subscribers can listen for FREE courtesy of a 14-day trial.


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