Southend boss Paul Sturrock could welcome Kane Ferdinand back into his squad for the home clash against Northampton.

The Republic of Ireland Under-19 international midfielder missed Tuesday night's 2-1 win against Barnet with an ankle injury but Sturrock will assess the problem before naming his starting line-up.

Fellow midfielder Anthony Grant will miss out for the second successive game with concussion, while experienced centre-back Mark Phillips is sidelined with a groin problem.

Striker Harry Crawford is also a doubt with an ankle problem, but top scorer Barry Corr may be fit enough to regain his place in attack after dropping to the bench in midweek with a tight hamstring.

The Shrimpers have lost just once in their last nine matches and could move into the play-off places with a win against the Cobblers.

Northampton could be without Josh Walker, Ben Tozer and Leon McKenzie as they look to avoid equalling a club record of six straight draws.

On-loan Watford midfielder Walker lasted just 39 minutes of the latest 1-1 draw at Hereford in midweek before going off with a hamstring injury and is out.

Defender Tozer missed out altogether in midweek after injuring his hamstring last weekend while striker McKenzie continues to be a doubt with a thigh injury.

However, midfielder Abdul Osman is available again after completing a three-match ban, but striker Shaun Harrad serves the second of his three-game suspension.

Manager Ian Sampson said: "Josh, Ben and Leon are probably all going to be out of the game on Saturday so we will have to reshuffle the pack a little bit.

"John Johnson slotted in really well at centre-half at Hereford and defensively Paul Rodgers did an excellent job at right-back after coming in."

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