SOUTHEND United’s Michael Timlin believes strengthening his side’s midfield has allowed him to rediscover his best form.

Timlin has been in impressive form for Blues in their last few matches.

And the 27-year-old feels it is down to the introduction of loan signings Marc Laird and Tamika Mkandawire in the centre of the park.

“With Tam coming in it’s given me more freedom to move further up the pitch and I think that’s boosted my game,” said Timlin.

“I would happily have carried on playing a more defensive role if the manager had wanted me to but I do prefer being able to get around the pitch.

“Marc Laird and myself are enjoying putting pressure on players further up the pitch and that actually resulted in his goal against Stockport the other week.

“Hopefully my first goal of the season isn’t too far away either and I’ve started to have a few more shots again.

“That wasn’t the case at the start of the year and I’m glad that’s started to change.”

Blues now also have serious competition for the midfield slots with Alex Woodyard and John Spicer also vying for a place in the team.

And Timlin feels that will bring the best out of those currently being selected by manager Paul Sturrock.

“Having that competition for places keeps everyone on their toes and is a big bonus,” said Timlin.

“We all know we have to play well or someone else will take our place and that’s the way it should be.”

Timlin’s next chance to impress will come at Torquay United this weekend.

And he is relishing taking on his former Swindon Town team-mate Craig Easton, who has also played for Blues.

“Craig and I had similar fortunes at Swindon and it will be nice to see him on Saturday because he’s a great professional,” said Timlin.

“I’m glad he’s been able to get a good club like Torquay and I’m sure he will be doing well for them.

“Torquay is a very long way to go and you’re always in for a hard game there.

“They’ve been playing better than their recent results have suggested but I feel like we’ve got things together now and want to keep that going.”