ADAM Thompson is out to secure a regular starting slot in Southend United’s defence this season.

The 21-year-old centre-back endured an injury-hit first season with the Shrimpers, making just 19 appearances.

But, after impressing in a 2-1 victory against Colchester United in a behind-closed-doors friendly yester-day, Thompson is eager to force his way back into the Blues side.

“This year I don’t want it to come down to the manager having to bring in loanees,” said Thompson.

“I don’t want to get injured or not play well so the manager doesn’t have to make signings.

“I want to stay in the team and it would be great to have Luke Prosser alongside me because I think we have the makings of a good partnership.

“Last year we were both shifted out by players coming in on loan but we couldn’t really complain because they did well.

“But this year we want it to be different.”

Thompson joined the Shrimpers from Watford last August, initially on loan, before making the move permanent during the January transfer window.

However he was unable to stay injury free and, after a slight setback with his back last week, Thompson will be working hard to stay off the treatment table.

“I’m going to be working on my stretching and strengthening to stay injury free to make the team,” said Thompson.

“Not playing because of my back injury was more of a precaution than anything else but it was still very frustrating.

“I worked hard during the summer, losing a bit of body fat and I want to show the manager in pre-season that I want to be starting and in the starting line-up for the first game against Accrington.”

Thompson played an hour against Colchester and helped Blues come out on top thanks to a first half penalty from Lee Barnard and a well taken finish from Will Atkinson.

The U’s netted a consolation late on with Frankie Kent heading home.

But boss Phil Brown was delighted by the performance and was quick to heap praise on Thompson. “We saw the best of Adam Thompson out there and I was delighted to see it,” said Brown. 
“Injuries have meant he hasn’t really had the chance to kick on his career since signing for us but hopefully that can happen now.”