BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Lee Martin again misses out for Town’s trip to Southend

LEE Martin’s stuttering pre-season will see him sit out tonight’s friendly at Southend United.

Martin’s thigh problem, which has just confined him to just half an hour of football this pre-season, has again ruled him out of the trip to Roots Hall (7.45pm ko).

With just two first team friendlies left after tonight’s game and Town’s first competitive match in two weeks, Martin’s absence must be a concern for manager Paul Jewell – even though it is not worth taking any risks at this stage.

Cheick Kourouma has also been named as Town continue to try and cut through the red tape caused by his past clubs, before they can sign the midfielder.

Also included is Massimo Luongo who was a rare positive from Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Luton – the midfielder revealing on Twitter that Jewell got his players in this morning for a light pre-game sesssion.

There is also better news for Jewell in the shape of the returning Ronan Murray who missed last week’s win over Cambridge with what the club have described as a minor injury.

With protracted talks over the signing of Steve Davies from Derby County, Murray might have a chance to stake his claim ahead of the Captial One Cup clash at home to Bristol Rovers a fortnight today.

Most Read

Especially, as Nathan Ellington has not been named in the 19-man squad.

Southend have just returned from a pre-season tour to Madrid and manager Paul Sturrock has admitted he will look to field his strongest team with the new campaign so close.

Sturrock said: “It is important that we now start thinking about the starting line-up for the game against Peterborough United in the League Cup.

“On the plane back home, I had a real good think about what our best formation and 11 is.”

Town squad: Loach, Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Ainsley, Cresswell, Whight, Chambers, Delaney, Bullard, Carson, Drury, Emmanuel-Thomas, Hyam, Kourouma, Luongo, Stevenson, Chopra, Scotland, Murray.

* Follow @davegoods on Twitter for all the team news, reports and reaction from Roots Hall tonight