SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown is to take another look at a trio of trialist defenders.
Right-back Dan Leadbitter and centre-backs Mads Ibenfeldt and Ben Richards-Everton all produced solid performances in a 0-0 draw at Concord Rangers on Wednesday night.
And Brown is now keen to see how they cope against opposition from a higher level.
“Dan, Mads and Ben were the three highlights for me from our game against Concord earlier this week,” said the Blues boss.
“They will all get another chance to play and, without being disrespectful to Concord, I want to see how they deal with playing against better sides.
“With that in mind they will all get a chance against either QPR or Ipswich Town at Roots Hall next week.”
Right-back Leadbitter first lined up for the Shrimpers at Braintree Town last weekend before also playing against Colchester United in a behind closed doors friendly.
Brown is keen for more competition and cover in the full-back positions and has been impressed by Leadbitter so far “Dan was recommended by our chief scout who remembered him from his time at Newcastle United and he does have something about him,” said Brown.
“Our scout said if he was anything like he used to be back then then we would have a hell of a player on our hands.
“However, Dan broke his ankle last season and he’s still coming back from that.
“He’s playing in fits and starts but if we can get more of those fits then he could definitely be an option for us.”
Brown is also still looking to strengthen his options at centre-back and was impressed by how Tamworth and England C international Richards-Everton coped in various roles at Concord.
“Graham Coughlan had to change the system a few times so Ben ended up playing in three different positions back there,” said Brown.
“He’s a left footed defender which is hard to find, he’s a good size and Birmingham have been having a look at him so he must have something about him.
“He will also play in one of the home friendlies we have next week and so will Mads.”
Dane Ibenfeldt grew in composure the longer the game went on at Concord.
And he will line up for the Shrimpers again next week after being recommended to the club by ex manager and current Gillingham chief Peter Taylor.
“Peter had Mads on trial with Gillingham and told us he would be worth looking at,” said Brown.
“He’s good on the ball and showed enough against Concord to suggest he would be worth another look.”
However, none of the trialists will be involved in tomorrow’s behind closed doors friendly against Charlton Athletic.
“I’m going with a full strength side of our own players for the whole 90 minutes,” confirmed Brown.