Football - Shrimpers to test Barker

Southend skipper Chris Barker will be checked upon ahead of the club's Boxing Day trip to Dagenham.

PA Sport

The defender was forced off five minutes from time in Friday night's impressive 3-0 win over Chesterfield having taken a kick to his ankle but the move was a precautionary measure and Barker is expected to be okay.

Should he get the green light then manager Paul Sturrock must decide whether to stick or twist with his starting XI for the 1pm kick-off at Victoria Road.

The Scot opted to name an unchanged line-up for the 3-0 win over the Spireites, leaving fit-again defender Mark Phillips on the bench. And he will be hard pushed to make any changes following such a solid display.

Striker Neil Harris remains the only definite absentee with his knee injury.

Southend are unbeaten in 13 matches, a run which has taken them up to fourth in the League Two table and within three points of second-placed Port Vale.

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