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Gillingham v Southend United – Carabao Cup first-round – Priestfield Stadium – Saturday 1pm – Preview
Mark Molesley takes charge of his first competitive game as Southend United manager, accepting the clubs’ pre-season preparation has been some way from where he would have liked it to have been.
The Blues head over the river to face old adversaries, Gillingham, in the Carabao Cup with Molesley keen to see his own unquestionable enthusiasm rub off on his charges.
Speaking after the Blues were beaten 3-0 in a warm-up fixture at Concord Rangers during the week, the former Weymouth chief explained to www.southendunited.co.uk: “I think we will try and be as ready as we can. It’s not an ideal situation but, as I’ve said before, it’s not an ideal world out there at the moment.
“This pre-season is short and games are going to come thick and fast, and we’ve got to learn lessons quickly but also have real conviction and belief in the way that we’re going to do it.
“We know that to get that conviction and belief we need to get positive performances and we’re going to be working tirelessly to make that happen. Rome wasn’t built in a day and there’s plenty of hard work to be done but there’s also some good green shoots coming through to show that we can get it right and we’ve just got to carry on, believe in ourselves, work hard every day and really strive for improvement.”
The Blues chief should have a bigger pool of players to select from ahead of the trip to Kent, adding: “That was a youthful side out there tonight. If you look at the players that weren’t there today you’ve got a good five or six players still to come back into the fold.
“That shows that we’ve got some really strong players to come back still – Ralph, Dieng, Lennon, Demetriou all missing and not playing a part, and John White wasn’t risked either – those five experienced players there along with Oxley and Stephen Humphrys gives us seven real senior players to come in around this youthful side which is full of potential. With those players still to come in that’s a strong sign for us.”
Jeevesie’s prediction: Gillingham 3-0 Southend United