"It is a long trip and you are always in for a difficult match at Carlisle. They are finding life a little difficult at the moment but it won't be an easy game. Getting a good start is vital because it will give us confidence. Carlisle have had a run of bad results so that is why it is ever so important to start well to continue that lack of belief. We will have to make sure our attitude and application is right. If it is then I would like to think we have enough quality in the team to get a positive result.
"We will travel on Friday morning and try and get there as quickly as we can so we can do a bit of training. It is a long way and it does take a little out of you but if you arrive early enough it shouldn't be too much of a problem. We are looking at the same back four, we might change it around a bit, but there won't be any changes after a good win.
"Carlisle have Scott Dobie and they have just taken Vincent Pericard who was at Stoke in the Premier League so they will be a handful. But it is all about us and our attitude and if all those things click we have the quality to get a result."
Meanwhile centre-half Adam Barrett commented to the Southend Echo :
"We face our longest away trip of the season this weekend as we head up to Carlisle. I'm not particularly looking forward to the journey on the Friday but I am looking forward to the game. Brunton Park is a place I always enjoying playing at and we're going there in a positive frame of mind. If we can get a good result there then we would really be in a great position, and we're confident we can do it. Carlisle haven't been in great form just recently and hopefully we can take advantage of that.
"I think we will again have the same back four but Anthony Grant did very well at centre-back against Bristol Rovers at the weekend. It isn't his natural position but he's an excellent reader of the game and that certainly helped him in his new role. I didn't have to do any more talking than usual but it would be nice if we could get some continuity and consistency with our defence. It definitely helps when you have that but I have been through quite a few defensive partners already this season. It's not ideal but we just have to battle on and keep on giving it our all."
And Southend top scorer Barnard told the Echo :
"It's a long way to go but we go there with confidence after beating Bristol Rovers last weekend. Hopefully we can get another good result against Carlisle.I'm really enjoying my football at the moment and want to keep my good form going. The club have mentioned a new contract but there's plenty of time for that and I'm in no rush."
Of all the 72 teams in the Football League, Southend have the fewest players with squad numbers, the Shrimpers at the moment having just 18 first-team players registered. So with four men out tomorrow for various reasons the visitors could be forced into having only three substitutes on the bench (one of which would be a goalkeeper), unless they call up some players from the youth ranks.
The quartet absent for Southend are Osei Sankofa, Jean-Yves M'voto, Damien Scannell and Lee Sawyer. Firstly in defence Sankofa and M'Voto are missing with respective knee and hip injuries, that meaning former Chelsea midfielder Anthony Grant will have to fill in at centre-half again. Grant therefore absent from an engine room that will also be without Damien Scannell who has tendonitis in the bottom of his foot.
The final man missing meanwhile is on-loan Chelsea midfielder Lee Sawyer who was sent home from training on Thursday for "another" breach of club discipline. Sawyer having failed to attend a pre-match meeting on Thursday morning where tactics for tomorrow's game against Carlisle were due to be discussed. Sawyer hopefully the last man out for a Southend side who also have doubts about the availability of on-loan Wolves defender George Friend, whose temporary spell at Roots Hall is still to be extended.
The referee for tomorrow's match is Geoff Eltringham from Sunderland, and he will be assisted down the lines by Paul Curry from Morpeth in Northumberland and Seb Stockbridge from Dunston in Newcastle. The odd one out as far as the north east is concerned being fourth official Paul Kettlewell who is from Lancaster.