SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown wants “three or four” more players to add to his squad before the start of the League Two season.
The Shrimpers chief is still eager to strengthen his options before the new campaign kicks off next month.
And he would ideally like to bring in two more defenders and another striker.
“We’re desperately short of defenders and I think that’s there for all to see,” confirmed Brown.
“We don’t have many options at all back there and that’s definitely my priority to sort out.
“I would like to bring people in this week and I do feel as though we need to sign another three or four.
“Finances will dictate things but if we can get three good quality players then I would be very happy with that.
“Two of them need to be defenders and I still think we need to sign another striker as well ideally.”
Brown still has centre-backs Mads Ibenfeldt and Ben Richards-Everton on trial and the duo are expected to line up against either Queens Park Rangers or Ipswich Town this week as they bid to secure themselves a contract with the Shrimpers.
However, right-back Dan Leadbitter is no longer with Blues having opted to sign for Bristol Rovers who were relegated from League Two last season.
“Dan has chosen to sign a two-year deal with Bristol Rovers and I’m disappointed if I’m honest,” said Brown, below.
“I would liked to have had another look at him and for him personally I think he’s better than non league.
“But he’s made his decision and good luck to him there.”
Brown also used Saturday’s behind-closed-doors friendly at Charlton Athletic to take a look at striker Jordan Chiedozie who impressed him when playing for Concord Rangers against the Shrimpers last Wednesday.
And Brown was pleased with how his side fared against their Championship hosts.
“We noticed Jordan in our game at Concord and he’ll be staying with us for a while for us to have a look at him,” said Brown.
“I was actually quite pleased with how we played, but I was disappointed that we didn’t manage to score because we certainly had the chances to do so.”
The closest the Shrimpers came to netting was when Lee Barnard smashed an effort against the woodwork.
But Charlton came out on top, winning 1-0, thanks to an 86th minute effort from winger Johann Gudmundsson.
The game also saw Blues' latest signing David Worrall play the whole of the second half.
Southend: Bentley; White (Williams), Thompson, Prosser, Coker; Hurst (Worrall), Leonard, Clifford (Payne), Atkinson (Banton); Barnard (Chiedozie), Weston (Corr).