SOUTHEND United skipper Chris Barker is desperate to avoid promotion heartache for a second season running.

Blues just missed out on a top three finish last term before being beaten by Crewe Alexandra in the semi final of the play-offs.

And Barker believes Paul Sturrock’s side must win 11 of their remaining 17 matches to finally secure a return to League One.

“Having been in the game for a while I do like to keep an eye on the stats at look at everyone around us,” said Barker, 32.

“We finished fourth with 83 points last season but this time around I think 79 will be enough to go up.

“That means we need to win 11 more games from our remaining 17 and I’m confident we can do that.

“We’re coming into form with three big wins and the pain of last season will drive us on.

“We missed out on automatic promotion by 18 minutes, one point and one place and I remember being gutted for about six weeks after that Crewe game so I certainly don’t want to be feeling like that again this summer.”