SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown is hoping to take his squad abroad during pre-season.

The Shrimpers chief is currently exploring the possibilities of a seven day trip to Spain or Portugal.

And he is keen to sort further plans in the next few days.

“Our attention has been on pre-season for a while now and we’re in talks with a couple of agents about going abroad again for a training camp,” said Brown.

“We’re looking at Spain and Portugal and hope to be able to get it sorted out because it’s always of huge benefit.

“It brings the squad together and allows us to get a lot of good work done in a short space of time.

“It gives the pitches at the training ground a bit of a break as well and I think a change of scenery is always good too.

“It’s something we try to do every pre-season so it would be good to keep it going.”

Brown also hopes to be able to take new signings on the trip abroad and has met with two transfer targets this week.

Former Shrimpers midfielder Alan McCormack, who was recently released by Brentford, is believed to be one of the players to have met with Brown along with another midfielder who was playing in the Championship last season.

And Brown is combining those talks with arranging pre-season friendlies.

Championship club Ipswich Town look set to face the Shrimpers  during the summer while Brown's side could also take on Scottish Premier League side Partick Thistle in a behind closed doors friendly.

“I’m in discussions about pre-season friendlies and hope to be in a position to announce something by the end of the week,” said Brown.

“We’ll be playing Ipswich and we could also play Partick Thistle behind closed doors.

“We’re in talks with a number of other teams, including a couple in the Premier League and hope to be able to get something sorted.”

Brown confirmed Blues would again play friendlies against local non-league sides but may opt to play the club’s under-21s to fulfil the fixtures.

The Shrimpers will report back in for the start of pre-season training on Friday, June 30.