SOUTHEND United left-back Ben Coker is to be offered an improved contract.

The defender still has a year left on his current deal with the Shrimpers.

But Blues boss Phil Brown is keen to secure Coker’s long-term future at the club.

“We’re going to be talking to Ben about an improved contract to ward off any interest there is in him,” said Brown.

“He still has a year left with a year option on his current deal but his performances deserve to be rewarded.

“I’ve had chats with him since the end of the season and I think he’s hurting more than most about not getting promotion.

“He wants to play in the Championship but I want that to be with us.”

Coker joined Blues in 2013 and has made 169 appearances.