Carlisle United's opponents Southend could have two new signings in their ranks for the game at Brunton Park.

They added experienced former Shrimpers favourite Alan McCormack to their squad on Thursday night.

That came after Barnet frontman Simeon Akinola also joined the Essex outfit.

Both could be in the mix to face the Cumbrians with Southend also hoping to improve on a poor start to the campaign.

They suffered a 4-0 home thrashing at the hands of League new boys Harrogate Town last weekend.

New boss Mark Molesley will check on John White and Timothee Dieng (both hamstring) before the game.

McCormack's arrival, after a spell at Keith Curle's Northampton Town, marks a return for the 36-year-old after 10 years away from Roots Hall.

The midfielder made 166 appearances for the Shrimpers from 2006-10.

Manager Molesley told the Echo he is seeking a reaction at Brunton Park from his team.

“We’re looking for a quick reaction and we need to see some positive body language as we can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” he said.

“It was difficult last week but we learnt some valuable lessons and we have to make sure we come out stronger on Saturday.”

Of the test against Carlisle, the Southend boss added: "They’re an experienced side at this level.

“They have some good players and some threats so we’ll give them the respect they deserve but at the same time we’ll focus on ourselves and our game to try and impact on them.”

Southend's early fourth-tier travails following last season's relegation from League One come amid a concerning financial picture at the Roots Hall club.

They have been operating under a transfer embargo which has limited their ability to bring in more players without departures first. Striker Stephen Humphrys last week joined Rochdale.

This week they were granted six weeks to pay off nearly £500,000 in debt.

They owe £493,991 to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and have been under a transfer embargo as a result of the ongoing case, which will next be heard on October 28.

Chairman Ron Martin said this week: "The fact is we expected to discharge the HMRC debt before [the latest] hearing. We have reduced the balance to HMRC by a third but cashflow over the past six months has been very limited and we have had the carry the club costs through this difficult Covid period, including paying off overpaid/underperforming players."