Alan McCormack inspired Southend's return to winning ways against Southampton on Saturday and he now looks certain to join the Shrimpers on a permanent basis.

The tough-tackling 22-year-old is currently on loan from Championship rivals Preston North End.

But he now looks set to stay with Seasiders once the transfer window opens next month.

"Everything has been sorted out and Alan will be staying with us," confirmed Blues' assistant manager Paul Brush.

"It's all done and dusted and Alan is someone we have high hopes for.

"He has a lot to prove in the game and should be regarded as a youngster working his way through, but we have already seen what he is capable of."

The Irishman, who was also on loan at Blues back in 2005, has again impressed for Steve Tilson's side.

And he is also keen to extend his stint by the seaside.

"We have the quality here to get out of trouble and of course I'm interested in staying," he said.

"We're a good side and we need to make every game like the Southampton one now. We played well and we need to keep that going."