SOUTHEND United midfielder Ryan Leonard feels back to his best and is ready to help the Shrimpers embark on another winning run.

Leonard was voted the club’s player of the year last season.

And he now believes he is starting to reach that level of form once more.

“I felt really good at Mansfield on Saturday and I felt as though I was back to the standards I set myself last season,” said Leonard, who bagged Blues’ opening goal in the 2-1 win at Field Mill.

“I can understand why people might think there’s more expectancy on me this season but I don’t see it like that so it’s not a problem.

“I’ve always set myself high standards and it’s frustrating when I don’t meet them.

“It’s probably frustrating for everyone else as well but I feel sharp again after recovering from my hamstring injury.

“Hopefully I can keep on playing like I did on Saturday and can score a few more goals to help us get on a good run.”

Victory at Mansfield pushed Blues back in to the play-off positions but this weekend sees a break from League Two as Conference club Chester visit Roots Hall in the first round of the FA Cup.

And Leonard is desperate to come out on top.

“Our results seem to have gone in runs this season and we want to get a good one going again by beating Chester,” said the 22-year-old.

“It’s going to be a very difficult game but we have good run in the FA Cup last season and it would be great if we could do the same this year.”

Blues reached the fourth round of the competition last term before beating beaten 2-0 by Premier League side Hull City at Roots Hall.

But Leonard could well have preferred to be paired with a team beginning with m.

For the energetic midfielder's goal at Mansfield means he has now hit the back of the net in his last five games against teams beginning with that letter.

“It’s probably the strangest statistic I think I’ve ever heard,” laughed Leonard.

“But I now want to play against a team beginning with m as much as possible, I will end up getting about 30 goals a season then!”