SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown was thrilled to be able to give his players ‘precious minutes’ in a 1-0 win at West Ham United in a behind closed doors friendly this afternoon.

Brown opted to field a strong starting line-up against the Hammers.

And he also took those not involved in the match for a training session at Chadwell Heath.

“It’s been hard for us to find places to train because of the wet weather so we’re extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity by West Ham United,” said Brown.

“We had a few players who got the precious minutes they needed, none more so than Lee Barnard and Freddy Eastwood who both played for 65 to 70 minutes.

“That would have done them the world of good and it was the same for the likes of Marc Laird, Conor Clifford and Bedsente Gomis so I’m really pleased.

“The result of the match really wasn’t important and we also had a training session down there with the players not involved in the game which was equally as good for us.”

Daniel Bentley, John White, Luke Prosser, Ben Coker, Mark Phillips and Adam Thompson all played a part in the game against what was also quite a strong West Ham side.

Ravel Morrison, Ricardo Vaz Te and Winston Reid lined up for the Hammers along with Italian newcomers Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello.

But it was Blues youngster Jack Payne who popped up to score the only goal of the game.

And the midfielder again caught the eye of Brown.

“Jack has a great eye for goal and he showed it again here,” said the Shrimpers boss.

“We played a different system with a diamond shaped midfield so he was just behind the front two and we did well in that position for us.”