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O'CONNELL SET TO MISS SOUTHEND TRIP

16 March 2017

Defender ruled out with a hamstring injury...

Irish centre-back Eoghan O’Connell has been ruled out of the Saddlers’ trip to Southend with a hamstring injury. 

The Celtic loanee was withdrawn against Fleetwood on Tuesday night after feeling his hamstring – just moments after breaking his nose.

And manager Jon Whitney has confirmed that he will be unavailable for Saturday’s League One clash against seventh-placed Southend at Roots Hall. 

“Eoghan broke his nose about two minutes before he came off, and then he felt his hamstring,” said Whitney. “We have assessed him but it is still quite tight. 

“After some more assessment he will probably have a scan. But he’s Celtic’s player so we do whatever they ask. 

“We will know more soon but he definitely won’t be available for the weekend. 

“We won’t know exactly how long he will be out until he’s had the scan but on average, with my experience, hamstrings usually take between 17 and 21 days.” 

Ahead of the weekend, the ninth-placed Saddlers sit four points behind Phil Brown’s play-off chasing Shrimpers – and Whitney is determined to close that gap. 

“We need to go down there and get some points,” he said. “If we win we’ll go within a point of them, but if we lose it’d be a seven-point gap and, if we’re honest, that could be too much. 

“We need to make sure we go down there and give it a good go – not sit in. We want to be similar to Charlton and Scunthorpe and go there, create problems and try to win the game.”

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