FORMER Stoke City striker Mamady Sidibe is on trial with Southend United.

The 34-year-old forward came on as a substitute for the Shrimpers in their 2-2 draw against Ipswich Town in a development team friendly yesterday.

And Blues boss Phil Brown will now be running the rule over Sidibe in training.

“I think ring-rusty would be the best way to describe Mamady at the moment because he hasn’t played for a while, but we will be having a look at him in training,” said Brown.

“He’s someone who has played at the highest level during his career but he hasn’t played since last season when he was with CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria, so it could take him a little bit of time to get back up to speed.”

Sidibe has also previously played for Swansea City, Gillingham, Stoke City, Sheffield Wednesday and Gillingham and has bagged 48 goals in 336 career appearances.

Blues are on the look-out for a new striker after scoring just 12 goals in their opening 12 league games of the season.

But it was midfielder Will Atkinson who caught the eye in front of goal against the Tractor Boys, scoring twice on his 26th birthday to earn the Shrimpers a draw.

Midfielder Michael Timlin also played 75 minutes on his first game after recovering from the dislocated elbow he sustained against Tottenham Hotspur in a pre-season friendly in July.

And Brown was delighted by how his defence performed.

“We had a look at John White at centre-back and he was fantastic there,” said the 55-year-old. “Ryan Leonard was also excellent at right-back and it was a great to see, especially with our shortage of defenders at the moment.

“Michael Timlin was another huge highlight for me and he really did astound me with his fitness levels if I’m honest.

“It really was a cracking game which we got plenty from and I have some clearer pictures in my head for the weekend now.”

By then, Blues could also have strengthened their squad with the addition of a new loan signing.

Brown remains in talks with a “couple of clubs” and hopes to be able to soon complete a deal.

“I’m just waiting for the phone to ring to find out what’s happening,” said the Shrimpers chief. “We’re in talks and I’m hoping that something can be sorted out before the close of play tomorrow.”

However, Brown was not willing to reveal the player in question or what position he played.

Southend United: P Smith, Leonard, White, Thompson, Binnom-Williams, Worrall, Deegan, Timlin, Atkinson, Corr, Barnard