Darlington manager Mick Tait last night heaped praise on Ian Clark after the winger made the most of his recent first-team opportunities.

With Neil Wainwright ruled out for at least a fortnight with an ankle injury, Clark has been handed the chance to force his way back into Tait's plans.

And, after grabbing his second goal in as many league games at the weekend, the 28-year-old appears to be doing just that.

Clark, who came off the bench to replace the injured Wainwright at Torquay, where he eventually scored the equaliser nine days ago, capped an impressive all-round performance with a superb solo effort.

"Ian did very well, especially in the second half," said Tait. "He's been out of the team for a while and the times he's come in recently he's done very well.

"Ian's full of confidence at the moment and he's deserved his place in the team."

Clark is expected to keep his place as Quakers look to extend their unbeaten run to six games with the visit of Southend tomorrow.

Tait may make one change with goalkeeper Andy Collett set to return after missing the Boston game with a recurrence of a shoulder injury.

The former Middlesbrough stopper suffered the setback in the Carling Cup defeat at Wolves on Tuesday night but could be in line for a recall after Tait revealed the injury was not serious.

"He opened it up at Wolves but it's settled down now and he'll only be out for a few days," said Tait.

"Unfortunately we've had two quick games coming up after he did it."

Midfielder Gary Pearson, who was an unused sub at the weekend, starts a four-match ban tomorrow.

Tait is expected to stick with the 4-4-2 formation which has proved so effective in recent weeks.

"We've worked on a few things, different ways of playing and the nice thing is which ever formation we go with we're very comfortable with it," said Tait.

"That's pleasing for me because I can go different ways with different opposition. We had a go with the 4-4-2 again and it worked very well."

Read more about the Quakers here.