Southend United manager Phil Brown confirms interest in Bristol Rovers midfielder John-Joe O'Toole

John-Joe O'Toole - wanted by Southend United manager Phil Brown

John-Joe O'Toole - wanted by Southend United manager Phil Brown

First published in Sport by

SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has rekindled his interest in Bristol Rovers midfielder John-Joe O’Toole.

Brown missed out on signing the 25-year-old last summer as he opted to join the Pirates.

But, following their relegation to the Conference, the Shrimpers boss is now eyeing up another move for the attacker.

“I was interested in signing John-Joe before the start of last season and would be again now too if it was a possibility,” said Brown.

“It was disappointing when we missed out on him and he went to Bristol Rovers but that’s what he felt was best for him at the time.

“Unfortunately, they went down but he still had a good season himself scoring 15 or 16 goals in a struggling side so we will certainly be looking in to his availability.”

The Shrimpers struggled to hit the back of a net on a regular basis last season, scoring 56 goals in 46 games.

And Brown is keen to make them more of a threat in the final third.

“We need to score more goals next season and that’s something we’re looking in to improving,” said the Blues boss.

“We managed 20 clean sheets which was fantastic and if we can have that again next season along with a few more goals at the other end then we will have a great chance of going up.

“But John-Joe is certainly a goalscoring threat and that’s what we’re interested in him.”

Brown added he was also looking at bringing in one or two more strikers during the summer.

And he is demanding more goals from that department of the squad.

“Last year we had about seven or eight strikers playing for us and between them all they got 24 goals,” said Brown.

“Barry Corr got 13 of them and we need to be looking at around 50 goals from our striking department next year and that’s something we will be working on and looking to improve.”

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