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League Two Shrimpers v Rovers

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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
It is the long journey to second bottom Southend up next for Rovers. The hosts have had a terrible season but have become much more resilient in recent weeks, conceding relatively few goals and pulling off impressive victories against Forest Green and Newport, and taking points from Salford and Cambridge. They are fighting for their lives and this will be a tough game where we will have to make the most of the chances that come our way. However, we really have to win, both to boost morale after the loss of Vaughan, and because we don't have a league game at the weekend and risk losing further ground if we don't pick up three points.

I have no idea what Hill's team selection will be. However, I would imagine the two real alternatives are sticking with Nugent up front with Woolery, whether in a partnership or as part of a front three, or playing Woolery or Lewis as a false number nine. I would guess Morris will come back into the side for Kirby if he is fit, and Lloyd might also start, albeit he still seems to be struggling for fitness. Hopefully Ray will be fit to play.

Prediction: narrow Rovers victory.
 

bigmart

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Ian Muir
Really need to win this but think will be a draw 1 1
 

Sparky

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Really not sure how this one will go. My gut feeling is Nugent will stay in the starting eleven if only to try and get his match fitness up and hopefully nick his first goal for us.
On paper we should win this but as RLC points out the shrimps have had some decent and unexpected results in recent times. If fit I would also start Lloyd, Ray and Morris and I just hope none of the squad are taking it easy hoping for a place in the side for Wembley
 

Ian

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Tough old test this one. Just as Southend are fighting to climb out of the relegation zone we are also going through a relatively unknown period with Vaughan out for a few weeks. I think we need a bit more grit in midfield so I would leave Kirby on the bench and go for Morris who can keep the ball a lot better. I think Nugent will play but we have to give him decent service. I think we'll probably just nick it 2-1.
 

Boz

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It’s not certain that Morris will be available, while we don’t know how bad Ray’s hip injury is, so a lot of uncertainty about our starting xi, given KHs indication about adjustments in the post-Crawley interview. Southend are battling hard for survival and this game could go any way, but even more than usual, I’m not confident of a favourable result. Hopefully, my gut instinct will be proved wrong.
 
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Well I am staying positive 3-1 with the Nug getting on the score sheet and the others spread around think the will be formation change but we will win and we need to as for Sunderland I would play the team that has got us through if we lose so be it we need the LG that's more importaint
 

ONIGP

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This is tougher game than the league table suggests. Since a thrashing by Port Vale at the end of January, Southend's only 2 defeats have been 0-1 reverses against in-form Bolton and Cheltenham. Although it sounds odd to say it about a fixture against a team 2nd from bottom and 18 places below us, I think a draw would be a good result.
 
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I share Boz's and ONIGP's caution. Southend are a difficult side to beat at the moment and appear to be well organised defensively and well motivated. Rovers may still be suffering a hangover from Saturday and (despite what others say) players will have thoughts on next Saturday. Will the prospect of playing for a place at Wembley be enough to counteract worries about getting a knock which might rule them out? All in all, I think we will lose, possibly 0-2. I hope I'm wrong, but don't raise your hopes.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I am not sure a draw would be a good result. We need to win a lot of games even to secure a play off place, and the fixture list is far tougher in April, and we will go into those games against the top sides without Vaughan, who is often the difference in big matches.

Southend have been more resilient recently, but their record in the last five matches is lost two, drawn two, won one.

The final on Sunday might distract some of the younger and less experienced players, but I am not sure it is that big a deal for somebody like Spearing.
 
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Too many of them after over 50 years!
My opinion is that this will be tough and a 0-0 draw will actually be a good result. This is simply because Southend's recent form has had them beating FGR away, Newport away, Drawing with Cambridge and Oldham Away, drawing with Salford and only 1-0 losses against Bolton and Cheltenham. Conceding only 3 goals in that set of games points to a resolute defence which Tranmere may find difficult to breach given the current injuries. Hope I am wrong and that Tranmere's very good away form continues.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
The question remains, if we don't beat sides in the bottom six away from home, and we have won only one of our last four home matches, where do we find the points to make the top three ?

There are only fourteen games remaining and I would say we have to beat struggling teams to go up automatically, even if they are in reasonable form.
 

bigmart

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The question remains, if we don't beat sides in the bottom six away from home, and we have won only one of our last four home matches, where do we find the points to make the top three ?

There are only fourteen games remaining and I would say we have to beat struggling teams to go up automatically, even if they are in reasonable form.
Exactly, although they have improved these are the games we need to win if we are to make the top 3 or even top 7.
 

ONIGP

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The question remains, if we don't beat sides in the bottom six away from home, and we have won only one of our last four home matches, where do we find the points to make the top three ?

There are only fourteen games remaining and I would say we have to beat struggling teams to go up automatically, even if they are in reasonable form.
If we continue to win only one of four home matches I think our result against Southend may be irrelevant. A draw could indeed be a moot point!
 
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Boz

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Agree with ONIGP the points we have dropped at home could prove fatal to our promotion chances.
 

Ian

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I think we will see improved performances even with Vaughan out. There are obviously some nerves now as some people think it's all doom and gloom now that Vaughan is injured and we had a bit of a shocker on Sat but I do believe we still have a very strong squad and I'll be disappointed if we don't put in a good performance tonight and take away the three points.
 
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Agree with ONIGP the points we have dropped at home could prove fatal to our promotion chances.
On current form we are well on course to make the top seven, or even the top three. We still top the form table for the last twenty matches.

However, if we are petrified of playing the team second from bottom we won't get anywhere.
 
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Morris and Ray start, Nugent on the bench. Looks like a front three of Lloyd, Woolery and Feeney / Morris.

Definitely a change of approach.
 

Sparky

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Still look like a 4-3-3 I’m guessing
 
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