SOUTHEND United returned to their Boots & Laces base yesterday to continue their pre-season preparations.

New signing Michael Kightly trained with the Shrimpers for the first time since returning to Roots Hall.

And Blues boss Phil Brown remains happy with the work being done by his players.

Echo:

In training - Michael Kightly

“It’s good to be back at base and everything is going well at the moment,” said Brown.

“Everyone is already looking very trim and fit and, coming back to our home, it was great to see the first team pitch looking in magnificent condition.

“We’re also looking at one or two other things, including building a room for the analysis work, which is done.

Echo:

New signing - Stephen Hendrie

“But we want and need to make the place durable because that was a problem last season and that’s something we’re working on because we’re all here so often.

“But I’m pleased with how it’s going and it was good to see Michael Kightly training with the group.”

Blues’ other summer signing Stephen Hendrie also trained with the group who will continue their work by taking on Ipswich Town in a behind closed doors friendly with Ipswich Town tomorrow.

Echo:

Sprinting - Simon Cox

“We have a special arrangement with Ipswich and we’re playing two hours of football against them on Wednesday,” said Brown.

“It’s an hour each half but they are both broken into two lots of 30 minutes so everyone in the camp will get an hour which will push everyone on.

“It will bring us further along and will see us build on Saturday’s game with Partick.”