SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has opened contract talks with Adam Thompson.

Brown believes the Shrimpers centre-back is currently enjoying the best form of his career.

And the Blues boss is therefore keen to keep the defender at Roots Hall.

“Without any shadow of a doubt I think Tommo is in his best ever form at the moment and that’s why we have opened negotiations with him about a new contract,” said Brown.

“There’s certainly a lot to admire where Adam is concerned, he’s not afraid to put his head in and, although he’s quite a quiet lad, when he does put a point of view across everyone listens.

“It would be great if he could add a few more goals to his game at the other end of the field and I’m sure Tommo would agree with that.

“But if he’s helping us to get clean sheets then he will still be making sure we have a real chance of winning our matches.”

Thompson, whose current deal expires at the end of the season, has started the last 26 matches for the Shrimpers.

And he has also been delighted with his run of good form.

“I’m enjoying my football at the moment and I’m pleased with how I’m playing but I need to keep it going because we have a lot of very big matches coming up and we need to get points from them.”

The seventh placed Blues head to Bristol Rovers this weekend looking to close the gap on Millwall who are currently four points above Southend in the final play-off position.

But Thompson is expecting a tough afternoon against a Pirates side also pushing for a top six finish.

“It’s a massive game on Saturday and Bristol Rovers are known for being very strong at home so we’re expecting it to be a very tough test,” said the 24-year-old.

“The Port Vale game last weekend was a frustrating one but sometimes you can huff and puff and it just doesn’t happen for you.”

The Shrimpers were held to a 1-1 draw by Vale but Thompson believes Saturday’s will be far more open.

“Bristol Rovers will be looking to beat us, they won’t just sit in and I think that will suit us,” said the defender.

“We all know this is a big game.”