Harding happy to stay at Roots Hall

DAN Harding wants to stay with Southend once his initial loan spell at Roots Hall has ended.

Derek Davis

DAN Harding wants to stay with Southend once his initial loan spell at Roots Hall has ended.

Although the left-back suffered a blip on Saturday when he was sent off in the Shrimpers' 1-1 draw with Stockport, he has helped them to an unbeaten run of five games and is enjoying his spell in south Essex.

Harding said: “I guess Ipswich might have something to say in the situation when the loan runs out but if it is left to me then I would love to stay at Southend.

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“I have settled in really well. The manager, players and fans have all made me feel very welcome. I have been playing games and the team is doing well so of course it has been enjoyable for me.”

Southend boss Steve Tilson intends to appeal the red card and said: “I was just five yards away and there was no intent. From my point of view I'm really disappointed he was sent off.”

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Southend bring their reserves to Ipswich tonight in a 7pm kick-off at Portman Road.

Jordan Rhodes, fresh from a loan spell at Rochdale where he scored twice in his five games, will start up front and will look to show how he has developed further.

Pim Balkestein is looking to step up his match fitness after recovering from groin surgery and Dean Bowditch is getting over a slight hamstring pull.

Danny Haynes and Shane Supple are also included as they try to push their way into the first team starting line-up.

Youngsters like Kurt Robinson, Jai Reason and Ed Upson will be looking to impress the watching scouts and coaches as they look for a loan spell with a lower league club.

Ipswich Town squad: Supple, Ward, Blakestein, Robinson, Watson, Haynes, Reason, Upson, Lambe, Clemo. Bowditch, Rhodes, Murphy, Daniels, Cawley and Ainsley.

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