Southend boss Steve Tilson will be without suspended defender Simon Francis for the visit of Hartlepool.

The right-back must serve a one-match ban after being booked five times this season, although the Shrimpers will welcome back midfielder Jean-Francois Christophe from a similar suspension.

Defender Osei Sankofa is back in full training following a knee injury and he is expected to step up his rehabilitation with a game in the reserves next week.

The Shrimpers will be looking to dramatically improve a poor run of form that has seen them win just one of their last six matches in all competitions.

Ritchie Jones returns to the Hartlepool squad, having pulled out of last weekend`s clash with Millwall after feeling ill in the warm-up.

He returned for the reserves in midweek and should now be involved at Roots Hall.

With Colin Larkin still struggling with a niggling hamstring problem and James Brown (knee) and Denis Behan (ankle) long-term absentees, Adam Boyd and Armann Bjornsson are expected to continue their blossoming partnership in attack.

Both players were on target in a 3-0 win against the Lions.

Director of sport Chris Turner has added teenage defender Dylan Purvis to his squad. He has been in impressive form for the reserves this season.

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Topics:
#Ritchie Jones
#Osei Sankofa
#Colin Larkin
#Hartlepool United
#League One
#Chris Turner
#Southend United
#Simon Francis
#Jean-Francois Christophe
#Adam Boyd
#James Brown
#Denis Behan
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