sport

Strike duo set for Shrimpers return

Southend duo Lee Barnard and Freddy Eastwood will play in a friendly with West Ham on Tuesday as they look to build up their fitness.

Barnard, who recently returned on loan from Southampton, made his first competitive start of the season against Newport on Friday but was taken off after an hour due to tiredness.

He was replaced by Eastwood, who has been restricted to substitute appearances since returning from a knee injury in December.

Shrimpers boss Phil Brown is hopeful that the friendly game will enable both to return to their best.

Brown told the club's official website: "I think Lee and Freddy are both in need of games and this is the perfect opportunity for that to happen.

"When I look at Lee at the moment I can see his brain is still very sharp but his legs aren't quite there at the moment.

"We need to give him minutes on the pitch for that to happen and our plan with him was to slowly build things up starting with Dagenham, Newport and now West Ham.

"This game is going to be priceless for him really and it would be great if he could last the whole 90 minutes against what is going to be a strong Premier League side.

"We'll also be starting with Freddy and it's an important afternoon for him as well.

"Freddy did very well when he came on (on Friday) and showed he can play that role up front on his own.

"He's fired up to do well and we're looking to get 75 minutes out of him against West Ham."