SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown hopes to bolster his strikeforce before Friday night’s clash at Bristol Rovers.

The Blues boss is currently short of attacking options with Barry Corr suspended for the next three matches after being sent off against Bury last weekend.

But Brown is convinced he is close to bringing in a replacement from a League One club.

“We’re way down the line with one of the striking targets now and it would certainly be a good one for us to bring in,” said the Shrimpers boss.

“I’ve been telling him how he would be part of a promotion push if he came here and that we’ve had something like 160 crosses going into the area in our last five games, so he would certainly get chances.

“He’s someone who has played at a higher level than he’s at now and it would certainly give us a big boost if he came in.

“We’re just waiting for his decision now and we’re hopeful he will agree to come in.”

Freddy Eastwood and Lee Barnard are currently the only striking options available to Brown.

Barnard improved his match fitness by playing 65 minutes for the reserves in their 1-0 win at Ipswich Town yesterday.

But it was the fit-again Luke Prosser who impressed Brown at the other end of the pitch in his first game back after six weeks on the sidelines with a calf injury.

“Pross played 65 to 70 minutes and was top drawer,” said Brown. “His fitness was fine and his organisational skills were second to none.

“He was up against two very good stikers in Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Paul Taylor but in the end it was almost too easy for him.

“He did very well and now I have a selection headache because I thought Ben Coker, John Egan and Jakub Sokolik, who all played in defence, were our best three players against Bury.”

Frazer Richardson, Jay Tabb and Carlos Edwards also lined up for Ipswich but it was the Shrimpers who came out on top with Ryan Auger scoring the only goal of the game