With most of 2017 left behind, Town travel to Southend On Sea for the last game of the year. Currently occupying 11th place, United have had a hard season with injury featuring highly on the list of difficulties. The season started well enough with a home win to relegated Blackburn but it wasn't until mid September that the Shrimpers tasted success again. Three further wins saw their league position improve but since the start of November, they've won four league games, lost four and drawn two. Their last five league games have seen them lose three times and win twice including their Boxing Day 3-1 win at home to Charlton.
Top Scorer (league games)
Simon Cox 7
Jason Demitriou 4
Ryan Leonard 3
Anthony Wordsworth 3
Stephen McLaughlin 3
Stephen McLaughlin 6
Anthony Wordsworth 2
Ryan Leonard 2
Four at home and one away.
Random Stats (based on home games)
Southend average 1.92 points per game against a league average of 1.57.
They also beat the League One average on goals conceded with just .83 compared to 1.19.
Southend have scored 75% of the opening goals at Roots Hall.
Southend are a team that starts both halves of the game well with five goals in the opening minutes of each half. Conversely, their most vulnerable period is at the start of the second half with three conceded.
Referee - Gavin Ward from Surrey. Games this season: 21. Yellow Cards: 70. Red Cards: 4.
Assistants: Andrew Williams and Christopher Wade
Fourth Official: Lee Collins
Neither manager has any new injury worries.
Southend are a completely different team at home than away if results are anything to go by so this will be another difficult away day. The Shrimpers are the fifth best home team in League One this season and that's set against a season of injuries to key players. Given a little more squad stability, Southend would be challenging at the top. So we're very much up for another tough test and it's likely to take a similar effort to the Wigan game to get something from the game.