SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has been delighted with the way his Shrimpers squad have started their pre-season campaign.

Blues are currently midway through a week long stint in Spain.

And Brown has been thrilled by the work-rate of his players.

“It’s been going really well and a lot of good work has been done already,” said Brown.

“The only way to really measure the work which is being done is to look at the GPS systems we use and on average we know that the squad has already run 35km this week.

“Some of the players have run 40km and that was before a run along the beach last night so it’s certainly been tough for the players, especially because of the hot weather.

“But a lot of the work has been carried out with the ball.”

The Shrimpers squad fly back from Spain on Friday.

However, they will now not be playing a behind closed doors friendly during their trip.

“We had hoped to get a game in while we’re out here but it’s not been possible,” said Brown.

“It would have been nice to have played against an opposing team but we’re going to have an 11 against 11 in training instead.

“We will make sure the game is played at the same intensity that we would have got against somebody else and it will definitely be a good exercise before we play Partick Thistle in a behind closed doors game at the weekend.”

Trialist striker Zak Ansah is expected to line up for the Shrimpers against the Scottish Premiership side along with defender Michael Turner, who has already impressed Brown.

“Michael is looking really good,” said Brown.

“He’s lean, mean and hungry which is great to see and we’ll be looking to get the deal signed as soon as we can.”

Turner worked with Brown while at Hull City and agreed to spend the week in Spain with the Shrimpers with a view to making the move permanent on his return.

That now seems certain to happen and will see Turner line up alongside Anton Ferdinand at the heart of the Blues’ back four.

Turner previously played next to Ferdinand at Sunderland and looks set to replace Adam Thompson at Roots Hall.