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The three Southend Utd men looking to send Sunderland’s travelling army home miserable today

Sunderland need to build momentum ahead of the play-offs, but stood in their way are a Southend side who can still be relegated. Here are the three Shrimpers players who are most likely to send the Lads fans home unhappy today.

Northampton Town v Southend United - Sky Bet League One Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Simon Cox

League One Games/Goals: 44/16

The former Republic of Ireland international is far and wide the best player in the Southend United ranks and his goal tally for a team struggling against relegation is clear evidence of that, with sixteen strikes to his name in 2018/19.

After six seasons in the Championship with Nottingham Forest and Reading - as well as a spell in the Premier League with West Brom - Cox signed on a free transfer for former manager Phil Brown who immediately talked up the level of quality the Irishman could bring to Roots Hall - and he certainly hasn’t let the Shrimpers fans down.

He’s not the biggest, but his ability to interact with his midfielders and create opportunities for himself will be a huge danger. Still only 31, he’s still got plenty to offer at this level.

Harry Bunn

League One Games/Goals: 24/4

A former Manchester City academy graduate, Bunn has settled into life at Roots Hall quite well despite it being the seventh loan spell of his career.

A team-mate of Chris Maguire last year, the 26-year-old striker was brought in on loan from relegated Bury at the beginning of the campaign and is often deployed on the left wing in an advanced midfield three supporting star man Simon Cox, although he has recently been partnering the Irishman as part of a front two since the departure of manager Chris Powell.

Small but stocky, Bunn is strong on the ball and has the ability to turn a game if he’s really up for it.

Mark Oxley

League One Games/Clean Sheets: 24/7

A former England under-18 and under-20 international, former Hibs goalkeeper Oxley has a better pedigree than most goalkeepers playing in this league.

Joining Southend back in June 2016, his capture was seen as a coup. He moved South on the back of winning the Scottish Cup whilst playing in goal for Hibernian, as they triumphed over Rangers 3-2 at Hampden Park, so it was no surprise that a string of fine performances last term saw him win the players Player of the Year and the Fan’s Player of the Year.

This season has been tough on the injury front however, as a back injury meant he was ruled out for a considerable amount of time, with youngster Nathan Bishop deputising as The Shrimpers battle against relegation.

Thankfully for new boss Kevin Bond, the shot stopper returned to action two weeks ago in the 1-1 draw at Walsall and Oxley could be absolutely key to keeping Sunderland out and maintaining Southend’s League One status.

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