TRIALIST striker Don Cowan and midfielder Conor Clifford will both travel out to Madrid with Southend United today.

The duo impressed Blues boss Phil Brown during a behind-closed-doors friendly against Leyton Orient on Saturday.

And Brown is keen to take a closer look at them during the Shrimpers’ four-day stay in the Spanish capital.

“Don’s been here a while now and I like what he can offer and I thought Clifford did well in the game at the weekend, so we’ll be taking both of them over with us,” said Brown.

“It’s a chance for us to learn more about them, see them more in training and maybe in the match against Real Madrid too.

Cowan, a former Stevenage and Braintree Town striker, had previously played for Blues’ in last Monday’s 1-1 draw at Chelmsford City.

But Clifford’s appearance in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Leyton Orient was his first for the Shrimpers.

And Brown was pleased with what he saw from the 21-year-old Irishman.

“Conor’s an ex-Chelsea player and I saw something in him out there against Orient,” said the Blues chief.

“He got into the game and we need a midfielder so he’s someone I’ll be looking at closely in Madrid.”

Clifford captained Chelsea’s youth team when coming through the ranks at Stamford Bridge and scored the decisive goal in their 3-2 win against Aston Villa in the 2010 FA Youth Cup final.

He failed to make a first team appearance while with the London club but spent time out on loan with Plymouth Argyle, Notts County, Yeovil Town and Crawley.

Clifford ended last season with Leicester City after being released by Chelsea in January but did not feature for the Foxes.

He has played for Republic of Ireland at under-17, 19 and 21 level and was also selected in the senior squad last October for the World Cup qualifier against Germany.

But former MK Dons midfielder Mark Carrington will not be offered a deal by Blues.

Carrington worked his way on to the scoresheet against Orient but Brown feels he is too similar to players he already has in his squad, such as Marc Laird.

Trialist Dan Fitchett, who was with Salisbury City last season, put Blues in front at the Boots & Laces training ground before Orient equalised when Sean Batt fired home after his penalty was saved by Luke Chambers.

Kevin Lisbie and David Mooney put the O’s further ahead at the start of the second half but the Shrimpers secured a draw as former Arsenal mid-fielder Joshua Rees and Carring-ton fired home from close range.