SOUTHEND United striker Nile Ranger cannot wait to face Fleetwood Town tomorrow tag-free.

Ranger’s electronic tag, which he was given when being released from prison last month, will be removed this afternoon.

And the Blues frontman insists that has given him a fresh lease of life ahead of this weekend’s clash.

“I cannot wait for the tag to get taken off and it means nothing can hold me back now,” said Ranger, who was jailed for online fraud.

“I couldn’t play in the Shrewsbury game because of the tag and the curfew but that’s lifted now too.

“I’ve been waiting a while for it because I haven’t really felt free but now I am and I’ll be feeling really good going into the game with Fleetwood on Saturday.”


Back in action - Blues striker Nile Ranger


SOUTHEND United striker Nile Ranger feels he is nearing full fitness ahead of tomorrow’s clash at Fleetwood Town.

Ranger looks set to make his fourth appearance of the season when the Shrimpers make the long trip north tomorrow.

And the 26-year-old will be looking to make a big impression as Blues aim to end their nine match winless streak.

“I’m feeling good going into the game this weekend, the team are looking decent and I’m looking forward to it,” said Ranger.

“I’ve had two 90 minutes and one 35 so my fitness is improving and I’m feeling the best I have in a very long time.

“We’ve been treating this period as my pre-season and I’ve been working hard.

“I’ve been making sure I’m topping up by doing extra work and extra training and it’s definitely helping.

“I’m staying professional, I’m doing better with my time-keeping but I know that must continue.

“I’m not quite at full fitness just yet but another game will help this weekend and we’re fired up to go and win.”

The Shrimpers - who sit 17th in the League One table - have not triumphed since beating Blackburn Rovers on the opening day of the season.

But Ranger is determined for that to end against a Fleetwood side who are currently eighth in the standings.

“We’ve had a good week in training, we’ve brought in Josh Wright and everyone is looking sharp so we’re going there full of confidence,” said the forward.

“I don’t know too much about Fleetwood but we’ll find out about them when we do our shape work in training today and it’s a game we’re looking forward to.”

Blues have defender John White available again after he missed the last two games with a groin problem.