WANDERERS have no new injury worries ahead of their trip to Southend but Ian Evatt will be asking his players for “100 per cent honesty” on their condition heading to Roots Hall.
After 90 minutes on a sapping surface at Mansfield on Wednesday night, the Bolton boss fully expects a few of his players to be feeling the strain.
Before he selects a matchday squad, however, he wants to hear from any of his squad that feel they are not 100 per cent capable of handling the required workload to get three points.
“There are so many games and especially when you are encountering pitches like that, it takes a lot out of your body to play at the intensity we want to play,” he said. “We will do what we can, monitor the data as best we can, but sometimes it comes down to player honesty.
“I know they don’t want to come out of the team but sometimes they have to understand it might be for the best if they are not 100 per cent. Nobody knows their body better than they do, so they have to hold their hand up, so that bit of honesty and respect for me goes a long way.
“There are plenty of games coming up, so if you are not feeling right, step aside, and someone who is fresh can step in.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be an injury – just being a yard off it. As a team we can’t afford to be off it. We need to be full tilt and everyone playing to the max.”
Wanderers will bring captain Antoni Sarcevic back into the squad but Harry Brockbank is expected to sit out the weekend as he recovers completely from a groin problem.
Matt Gilks, pictured, who took a knock to his back in the first half at Mansfield, has reported no after effects and is expected to carry on in goal.
SOUTHEND United have added striker Nile Ranger to their list of registered players with the EFL.
The controversial former Newcastle United and Blackpool frontman has been training at Roots Hall for several weeks and has rejoined the club on an incentivised month-to-month contract.
Ranger, now 29, scored 10 goals in 49 games in his first spell with Southend, playing under ex-Bolton coach Phil Brown. But he has not played professionally since leaving the club in January 2018.
It is unclear whether Ranger will be fit enough to face Wanderers tomorrow, however, as he has been struggling with a calf issue for the last couple of weeks.
“Nile has been in training for two months getting fit before integrating into the first team training and he’s shown the right attitude ever since he walked through the door and has worked hard to get his fitness up,” said boss Mark Molesley.
“Nile has still got to earn the right to play for this club and he knows that himself. Everyone has to earn the right.
“He has got to repay the faith I have shown him on the pitch, and I am excited to see a fully fit Nile play for this football club.”
One player who should come into immediate contention is winger, Ricky Holmes, a boyhood Southend fan who has signed a deal until the end of the season.
The 33-year-old former Portsmouth, Charlton and Northampton wide man is thrilled to have joined his hometown club and is aiming to guide them away from the bottom end of League Two.
“I can’t wait to get going on Saturday,” said Holmes.
“The games are coming thick and fast so hopefully I can bring a lot to the team.
“It’s been known over the years that I support Southend, I’m from the area and one day I said I’d hopefully come back after getting released as a kid, and thankfully it’s happened.”
Ex-Wanderers midfielder Jacob Mellis could also feature despite not showing up on the EFL’s official list, published in midweek.
Southend say they have registered the midfielder, who played six times for the Whites last season in League One.
The referee originally scheduled to take charge of the match, Darren Drysdale, has now been replaced by Declan Bourne.
Drysdale has been charged with improper conduct by the FA after his confrontation with Ipswich Town midfielder Alan Judge during the Tractor Boys’ 0-0 draw with Northampton Town on Tuesday night.
Bourne has never taken charge of a game involving Wanderers but did preside over Southend’s 0-0 draw against Stevenage in December.