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Posted on 26 January 2007  - 12:00

Chris Hughton takes a look at Saturday's FA Cup fourth round opponents Southend United.

Chris Hughton takes a look at Saturday's FA Cup fourth round opponents Southend United.

IT'S DIFFICULT to say how much of a bearing the fact that we played Southend in the Carling Cup in December will have on Saturday's FA Cup game - you'll only really know afterwards.

In regards preparation and knowing a team, of course we're in a better position than we were first time around, even though we'd watched them play and knew Mark Gower and Kevin Maher on a personal basis having started their careers here.

We're far better off in terms of our preparation this time in the fact that we've played them and played them at White Hart Lane. But that counts for nothing if you don't get a result.

The only real difference from last time is in the central defensive area where Peter Clarke and Adam Barrett have played the last two games, against us it was Spencer Prior and Efe Sodje, but Prior picked up a knock agaibst us and Sodje has been suspended.

They've had a consistent line-up, certainly the front six with the likes of Gower, Maher, Cambell-Ryce, Lee Bradbury and Freddy Eastwood, the two full-backs Lewis Hunt and Steven Hammell and the goalkeeper Darryl Flahavan.

They've had a very good run apart from the last game when they lost at home to Derby - not such a surprise because Derby going well - but up to then they were unbeaten in six games.

I saw them play at Barnsley where they thoroughly deserved to win and what they have in their locker is that they are a footballing side. Why they haven't done better in the Championship, I don't know, perhaps it's to do with not having a bigger squad but every time I've seen them, I've been impressed, including the Carling Cup game at the Lane.

That was a typical cup-tie where the underdogs rose to the occasion and you could tell Gower and Maher both enjoyed the experience of coming back to White Hart Lane, it showed in their performances.