Southend United's Mark Phillips eager to face former Brentford side

Echo: Mark Phillips - keen to return Mark Phillips - keen to return

SOUTHEND United centre-back Mark Phillips does not want to miss out on facing his former Brentford side for a second time this season when they visit Roots Hall tomorrow.

Phillips was out with a knee injury when the Bees came to Essex in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last month.

And, having returned to full fitness, the 30-year-old is now desperate to be recalled to the side when Uwe Rosler’s team return in the third round of the FA Cup this weekend.

“I’d love to be involved against my former team and I’m certainly fit and raring to go again now,” said Phillips, who last started a game for Blues against Bury at the start of December.

“It was unfortunate that I got injured and lost my place in the team but that happens in football.

“I’m now ready and waiting for another opportunity though and hopefully it will come soon because I want to be involved.”

Phillips hopes that can come tomorrow against League One Brentford, for whom he made 60 appearances during a successful two year spell.

However, the defender knows the in-form Bees will be a tough team to take on.

“Brentford is a very good club with loyal fans and they’re ready to go up to the next level so they will be a very hard side to play against,” said Phillips.

“I really enjoyed my time there and won a league title with them so I only have happy memories from my time there.

“I’m glad to see they’re doing well but we want to bounce back from a disappointing couple of games and get back to winning ways.”

Phillips could return in place of either Luke Prosser or Chris Barker is boss Paul Sturrock decides to hand him a recall.

But the Southend chief will be forced in to making at least one change to his starting line-up, after midfielder Tamika Mkandawire returned to Millwall after his loan spell expired.

Sturrock has yet to make up his mind on who will replace him but has a number of options at his disposal with Anthony Straker, David Martin and Ryan Leonard believed to be among the leading contenders to replace him.

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