Michael's A Worry

Glenn Roeder reveals that Michael Carrick is a major worry for the trip to Southampton because of a groin strain picked up on international duty.

"Michael has got to be a concern, a doubt anyway, because it was only last Friday that he came off at half time in the U21s," he explains.

"That is the worrying thing when you let your players go away - you have no say in it and they can pick up an injury.

"We are hoping it is not a serious injury and that he can make Saturday, but we will have to make a late decision as to whether Michael can make it or not.

"Michael, like the rest of the team, has had a terrific month or six weeks."

Michael is not the only walking wounded, and Glenn adds:

"John Green tells me that Gary Breen has picked up a slight hamstring that might take him out of this week's squad, but he will be fine the week after."

But of course there is the return of Lee Bowyer at the weekend to bolster the squad, and Glenn adds:

"It is good to have Lee Bowyer again after a two match suspension and he was very disappointed to get the 10 bookings.

"He is free of any pain in his ankle and against Spurs he was absolutely terrific; he made so many good runs in behind Spurs' back four and was unfortunate not to score a couple of goals.

"If he can make those sort of runs on Saturday and slide him in we hope he can get that elusive first goal for us.

"I believe that he actually got the winner at St. Mary's for Leeds and I am sure he would love to try and do the same.

"He has got a good goal scoring record and hopefully in the next seven games he is going to score one, two, or even three important goals that get us points.

"Lee is what I call a low maintenance player, one of those who virtually looks after themselves; he comes in, gets changed, goes training, tries to do everything you ask.

"He is very, very easy to deal with and he gets on well with all the other players."

Glenn is asking for another rousing start to the match at Southampton, and he concludes:

"All the players are focused with the right amount of desire and determination and we really are chasing teams up and trying to be as competitive as we can, especially at the start of games to get into our stride."

* Rob Newman, who recently vacated the Southend manager's chair, has taken up a part time scouting role with West Ham.