PHIL Brown has confirmed he is definitely staying at Southend United next season and is desperate to get the Shrimpers back in to League One.

Doubts had been raised about Brown’s future at Roots Hall following last weekend’s play-off defeat to Burton Albion.

But Brown insists he has no interest in leaving the Shrimpers.

“I will absolutely still be here next season,” confirmed the Blues boss.

“I’m very happy at the football club and I’m hopeful that we can go on further next season and get promotion.

“We made real progress last year and I’ve already been in talks with the chairman and the chief executive about next year.

“I can’t wait for it to get underway to be honest and I wish we didn’t have to wait so long to have another crack at it.”

With Brown’s future secure, the Shrimpers chief has been holding talks with the club’s players and staff.

Brown is desperate to keep his backroom team together and revealed that talks were also continuing with members of his squad who were soon to be out of contract.

However, as was revealed in yesterday’s Echosport, one player who will definitely be remaining at Roots Hall for another season is striker Lee Barnard.

And Brown is confident the forward can rediscover his best form, despite enduring an indifferent end to the previous campaign.

“When we sat down and spoke to Lee earlier on in the week it was all very positive indeed,” said Brown.

“He said he was looking forward to pre-season and that the other lads at the club had told him how good what we did last year was.

“I’ve been in the game for 35 years now, so that’s 35 pre-seasons I’ve had so I would like to think I know what I’m doing.

“The players got a lot out of what we did last season and I’m sure Lee will this year so he can start to show why we bought him back to the football club.”