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Freddy's ready for some fireworks

Southend United striker Freddy Eastwood is hoping to come back with a bang for Blues at Leeds on Saturday.

The Shrimpers top scorer, who has already banged home eight goals so far this season, was forced to miss Tuesday night's trip to Elland Road in the Carling Cup with a virus.

But he is expected to be fit for this weekend's re-match in the Championship and is keen to add to his tally following his team-mates 3-1 midweek win.

"It was disappointing not to play in the week because I want to be involved in every game possible," said Eastwood, who was forced off during Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Ipswich with the virus.

"I always feel like I'm going to score when we play and I don't want to miss out on getting more goals.

"I'm beginning to feel better though and I should be OK to be involved for the weekend, so hopefully I can score again and we can get the win."

Eastwood was speaking alongside manager Steve Tilson at the launch of the Nightstar firework shop, which has just opened in Wickford High Street.

But goal-getter Eastwood, who turns 23 on Sunday, is determined to help the Seasiders rocket up the standings with more match winning displays.

"I think we have been doing OK but we just need a couple of good results to get ourselves going again," he said.

"We started off well but we've had a bit of a blip since then and we need to get out of it.

"It was a great win at Leeds in the week and hopefully we can get another one this weekend because I think it's a good time to be playing them."

Eastwood added he was excited by the thought of playing at Elland Road and that he was desperate to work his way onto the scoresheet in a bid to enhance his already excellent reputation in the game.

A whole host of clubs, including Norwich City, Derby County and Sunderland, have all expressed an interest in the highly rated hot-shot.

But he is not affected by the speculation.

"There is nothing I can do about it," he said.

"I will just keep on doing what I'm doing and then we shall see what happens from there."

But he added: "I want to go on and play in the Premiership one day and hopefully I will get the chance to do that."

And in a bid to make that dream come true, Eastwood refused to rule out the possibility of one day moving to another Championship club.

"There are some big clubs at this level," he said.

"Plus three of them go up to the Premiership every year as well so they also have a chance to go higher."

Blues chairman Ron Martin continues to insist Eastwood is not for sale and is keen to open new contract talks with him.

But the forward is in no rush to start discussions.

"I still have this year and another one on my current contract at Southend," he said.

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