Whether or not September's Manager of the Month award will be winging it's way to the Reynolds Arena, Darlington boss Mick Tait last night admitted he couldn't care less as long as his side is winning.

The Quakers boss is one of the leading contenders for this month's Third Division accolade after seeing his side take 11 points from a possible 15.

Tonight Tait's men can make it a fifth straight win at the Reynolds Arena with struggling Southend the visitors.

And while victory against the third-bottom Shrimpers would put Tait in the driving seat for his first managerial award, his immediate thoughts are with the progress of his ever-improving team, who moved into the top half of the table for the first time this season at the weekend with a 3-0 win over Boston.

"As long as we're getting the results I couldn't give a damn about anything else," said Tait.

"All I care about is getting three points each time we go out on the pitch. If you do well things come your way, but it's all about doing well first." Steve Wignall's Southend have failed to win in their last five games and while Quakers will be favourites to extend their unbeaten run to six games tonight, Tait is refusing to take anything for granted.

"There is not an easy game in this league no matter how well you're doing," said Tait.

"The only way you can make them into easy games is if we you do the right things and you work very hard.

"If you don't match the opposition for work-rate then anybody can turn anybody over in this league."

Southend welcome back Dave McSweeney from suspension but Jim Corbett is ruled out after taking a knock in the weekend draw at Scunthorpe.

The former Blackburn striker spent two months on loan with Quakers last season but has so far failed to make an impact at Roots Hall, where he has failed to score in 11 appearances.

Tait is expected to name an unchanged line-up with goalkeeper Michael Price in line for his second league start with first-choice goalkeeper Andy Collett still recovering after suffering a recurrence of a shoulder injury at Wolves last week. Collett is expected to learn over the next few days the full extent of the injury, although it isn't believed to be serious.

"The specialist said has told us that he needs to let it settle for a few days before we can tell," said Tait.

"It looks as though he's broke away a bit of scar tissue, which really is what we're hoping.

"The worst case is that he has a little tear which could keep him out for a bit but that is unlikely."

Winger Neil Wainwright is making good progress from an ankle injury and could be included in the squad for Saturday's trip to Mansfield.

"Neil is improving pretty rapidly now," said Tait. "I think the Southend game is a bit early for him but there's no reason why he hasn't got a chance for the weekend.

"He's still in quite a bit of pain and even if he does make himself available I'm sure there'll be a fair bit of pain still there."

However, Wainwright's place in the team will be far from assured, especially with the impressive re-emergence of Ian Clark.

The winger scored his second league goal in as many games at the weekend with a superb individual effort against Boston.

"We want a bit of competition and even though we haven't got great numbers, those that are available have got to create a bit of competition," said Tait.

"If you're not in the team you are there to put pressure on those who are in the team and that's the way it should be.

"I think the lads who have come in lately have done very well and it's going to be hard for others to get in again."

Read more about the Quakers here.