9:00am Tuesday 1st January 2013
By Chris Phillips
ADAM Barrett faces the prospect of upsetting his friends and family when Gillingham visit Roots Hall this afternoon.
Barrett will skippering the Kent club on his return to his former side.
But he knows those close to him may not want him to win.
“Several members of my family and quite a few of my friends are Southend fans so I’m sure they will be cheering for Blues today,” said the 33-year-old centre-back.
“I’ve been asked for tickets left, right and centre for the game and people have been asking to sit in different places of the ground.
“I would hope my wife will be in the Gillingham end but I’m not sure many others who I’m close to will be.
“But I’m a Gills player now and I’ll be doing my job by trying to help them win the game this afternoon.”
However Barrett, who grew up supporting Blues and made 289 appearances for the club during a successful six year spell, admitted it will be a strange experience walking in to the away dressing room at Roots Hall.
And he promised not to celebrate if he scored.
“I loved played for Southend and everyone knows what the club means to me so out of respect to the fans, who were terrific to me, I won’t celebrate if I score,” said Barrett.
“Obviously I would be pleased because I want to help Gillingham win matches and get promotion this season but I think it would be wrong for me to celebrate.
“I’m really looking forward to the game though and it was the was first one I looked for when the fixtures came out.
“It’s strange for me playing against Southend but this is the first time I will have been back to play since leaving in 2010 and it will be nice to see a lot of friendly faces who still work behind the scenes there.”
Gillingham go in to the game second in the table.
But Barrett is expecting a difficult afternoon against the fourth placed Blues.
“Southend have been the form team in the league over the past month or so and they have some very dangerous players,” said the former Southend captain.
“Tomlin has come in to form and Assombalonga is very good too so it will be a hard game for us but we want to bounce back from what was a very disappointing defeat against Barnet.”
The game will also see Barrett coming up against Ryan Cresswell, who many have compared Barrett since he joined at the start of the season.
However, Barrett played down those views.
“Ryan is a very good players but we’re basically both just bald and play in the same position which is why I think people say we’re alike,” laughed the defender.
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