SOUTHEND United boss Phil Brown has hinted that Jack Payne could make his full league debut at Northampton Town tonight.
The 19-year-old has made the starting line-up in both the Capital One Cup and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy already this season.
And, after impressing Brown as a second half substitute at York on Saturday, the youngster could now be doing the same in League Two.
“Jack looked lively for the 35 to 40 minutes he had at the weekend and did enough to warrant a place in the starting line-up,” said Brown.
“That makes it sound like I’m naming the side already and, while I haven’t done that just yet, Jack is certainly in my thinking.”
Payne come through the youth ranks at Roots Hall and has made 11 appearances off the bench so far this season.
He replaced Michael Timlin 11 minutes in to the second half at York on Saturday and was delighted to be given more of a chance to impress.
“I was pleased with the minutes I got but it would’ve been better if we had been able to win the game, “said Payne, who has bagged 11 goals in 11 reserve games this term.
“I thought I did quite well when I first got on and saw plenty of the ball but they got touch tight on me after that and I gave the ball away a couple of times which disappointed me.
“I will keep on working hard and learn from these things to make sure I get better and it would be great if I could get more chances and maybe even a start soon as well.”