Manager Richie Wellens is looking forward to coming up against a familiar face this weekend.
Wellens played alongside Southend boss Chris Powell at Leicester City and he admitted he has a tremendous amount of respect for his counterpart.
He said: “He is someone I have a tremendous amount of respect for. He had a great career and I played in his last ever game.
“He was a coach under Nigel Pearson and Craig Sheakspeare at Leicester and we turned up to a game at Barnsley and both of our left backs were injured.
“That wasn’t a problem because Powell at 41 years old and ripped to bits, he takes his kit off and plays. He marked Adam Hammill out of the game, took his kit off and that was his career done.
“He’s got a good feel around professional footballers and knows what to do with them. He has a nice demeanour and someone I have a lot of respect for.
“He’s gone in at Southend and it’s no surprise that they are on a real good run of form.
“They have got two ways of playing. We have watched their game against Bury and their pitch is similar to ours and it meant they went quite long.
“They play the percentages a lot and play a rigid 4-4-2 so I imagine it will be similar to that.
“Whether they go away from home to a nice pitch and play different then that is another thing but we think that the Bury game is a good gauge for us.
“Powell has proven that he can work different styles and get results.”
The players enjoyed a rare weekend off last week but have kept fitness levels up with a practise match against Manchester United at Carrington.
“It was good for the squad to get 45 minutes and it allowed us to use it as a bit of a training session,” he commented. “They dusted a few cobwebs away from the weekend and we now look forward to Saturday.
“The first team did okay but the reserves, the lads who are desperate to prove themselves, came on and they were impressive.
“We dominated the game in the second half and there were some good performances.”
One man who was involved on Tuesday was Patrick McEleney and the manager expects him to be involved this weekend against the Shrimpers.
“He will be involved at the weekend,” he admitted. “He was very impressive when he came off the bench in the behind-closed-doors friendly.
“He is a proper player, someone who can dominate the ball but he can go the opposite side of players and cause them problems.
“He can assist players, score goals and he is two footed. He can take free kicks and corners with his right or his left foot.
“He’s been a blow for us because we were looking forward to having him as a fresh player but he’s been out for a long time and we need to be careful with him but he will be in the squad for Saturday.”